Peace. Time’s up

5 Jan 2023 | Art, Life, News

Prayers, invocations and choreography as part of the 56th World Day of Peace, celebrated in Loppiano on the afternoon of Jan. 1, for a new commitment. Major armed conflicts in the world recalled in the year-end Te Deum.


"Time is up, time has passed! There is no more time, not even to roll up our sleeves," cries a female voice on stage in a somber mood. "We 'missed the train.' We have fallen on the ground, in the mud together with the soldiers," and the tone turns testy and desperate. "Time has long since run out," echoes a man with bitter and helpless realism, "So much frenzy, so many different roads, so many heads, so many indicatives, so many reasons. Thus the afternoon of January 1 st began in Loppiano, with an unpredictable, disorienting, engaging sequence of prayers for peace, provocatively titled "Time's Up."



"Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another," a verse from Mark's Gospel suddenly pops up on the big screen, as a group of dancers grope aimlessly. "Salt in yourselves," as a precondition for peace. Salt in the head, synonymous with intelligence and common sense. Of both we seem to be lacking, given how many ongoing conflicts there are.

An hour of theater, where speech is accompanied by bodily expressions, choreographic movements. A modern laude conceived by artist Pierluigi Grison and performed by two actors and a group of young people from the citadel. The assembly is participatory, recollected. Small lights are lit on the stage inside transparent bottles. In the audience, as a response and commitment, small flashlights from cell phones are lit in the dimness of the large hall. A passage from a prayer of St. John Paul II is quoted: "God of our fathers, speak to the hearts of those responsible for the fate of peoples, stop the logic of retaliation and revenge, suggest, with your Spirit, new solutions, generous and honorable gestures, spaces of dialogue and patient waiting that is more fruitful than the hurried deadlines of war."


The video clip featuring Gen Rosso’s song “One for the Other” is a prelude to a statement by Pope Francis: “Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say, “Never again war!”; “With war everything is destroyed!”” The option of peace every day is the logical and challenging consequence. Just as Gen Verde sings in a video with the song “We choose peace.”

This is how the World Day of Peace was celebrated in the citadel. But peace was also spoken about in Loppiano on Dec. 31 at the end-of-year Mass and Te Deum. “We pray to You in particular for Ukraine and we entrust to You its people who live in darkness and cold. We also entrust to You all the other many regions that are at war, such as Syria, the Holy Land, Lebanon. Enlighten the Sahel region where peaceful coexistence is disrupted by violence and clashes. We ask you for a lasting truce in Yemen, Myanmar and Iran. We entrust to you the American continent, especially the Haitian people who have been suffering for so long.”

The first day of the year is dedicated by the Catholic Church to Mary, with the title Mother of God (Theotokos). It is therefore the feast of the shrine of Loppiano, linked by a special bond of affinity to the Roman papal basilica of St. Mary Major, considered the first temple dedicated to the Mother of God in the West. At the end of the noon Mass, the celebrating priests went before the image of Mary, painted by a Hindu painter, for a floral tribute and prayer. “Bless us all, O Holy Mother, that we may be faithful to the Gospel of your Son, attentive to the inner voice of the Spirit, true children of God in brotherly love and in the hope of eternal life.” It is a passage in the text that points to the foundations of true peace.

See the photo gallery on Flickr:


2023 01 01 Tempo Scaduto: Preghiere di Pace

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