- Jun 14, 2021
In his noontime Angelus address on New Year’s Day, Pope Francis extolled peace and reconciliation but also acknowledged the realities of an oft-violent world, expressing his closeness in prayer to the dead and injured and their families in a New Year’s Eve attack on a nightclub in Istanbul.
Jan. 1 for the Catholic Church is the great solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, and on Sunday Pope Francis delivered a paean to moms everywhere that seemed only missing a reference to apple pie to be complete.
Today’s solemnity of Mary, Mother of God seems annually overshadowed by New Year celebrations (or by recovery efforts of these celebrations). The Biblically rich feast day appears to be viewed as some type of odd Christmas residue, and not cherished for its own depth and richness.
At the end of a year in which Pope Francis came under fire for adopting a nuanced line on divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, he argued Christians should reject becoming “narrow-minded, or prisoners of an all-or-nothing attitude that would force others to conform to our own ideas.”
The Christmas tree was erected in St. Peter’s Square on November 24, marking the beginning of the holiday season. The Vatican released Pope Francis’s liturgy schedule for Advent, Christmas and the month of January.