Journeying with young people toward May 9
Who would have thought it possible? And yet, it happened. War is raging in Europe. We’ve seen many protesting in the streets, or praying in churches and homes, while millions are fleeing. When we were asking ourselves what the ‘leitmotiv’ of the next Europe Day should be, we never imagined that it would tragically regard the desire that is inherent in the hearts of all men and women: peace.
Bearing witness to reconciled diversity
Every nation possesses a rich history and culture: through which, along the centuries, they express this universal yearning. The event we mark on May 9 came about from the same desire: following World War Two, several farsighted politicians agreed to establish a new order in Europe. Even though the fruit of their effort, the European Union, does not fully reflect the initial intentions, in this tragic moment we Christians are called to nurture the peace that God himself gave us 2000 years ago. Let us continue to pray, to help in practical ways those in need and to witness that reconciled diversity is possible!
Young people, builders of a better future
“Allow your voice to be heard!” is what the European Union is appealing for on its website as it designated 2022 as the “European Year of Young People”. The appeal continues: “The initiative shall focus upon the importance of European young people in the building of a better future: greener, more inclusive and more digital”. And now we can add: “more peaceful”! We hope that many young people will make their voice heard – including on the occasion of Europe Day – to promote a Continent where diversity is not a ‘message of war’, but an ‘invitation’ to discover together a path that leads toward a common pleasant future. They will also do this by remembering the other young people who are victims of this absurd war.
Prayer journey towards 9th May
This year, during the six week of preparation for May 9, we will be accompanied by prayer texts that have been composed by our groups in Ukraine, Ireland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia. The ‘Schuman Declaration’ of May 9, 1950, starts with these words: “World peace cannot be safeguarded without creative initiatives on the same level of the dangers that threaten it”. This message is more relevant now than ever before.