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READ: The Most Valuable New Year’s Teachings by Pope Francis

What does the pope have to say every New Year? We compiled his most inspirational teachings over the years!

The new year is the start of a new life, so to speak. And who is better to give sound advice and teachings during the start of every year than Pope Francis himself?

Much like a true grandfather, our dear Lolo Kiko is always full of wisdom and he imparts these during his homilies. So to start the year, My Pope Philippines gathers his year-end and start-of-the-year homilies since he became the leader of the Catholic Church. (Read: Pope Francis Homilies: Valuable Lessons on Christian Living)

2014: ‘Life is Mortal, Make the Most Out of It.’

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Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square after Vespers on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2014. (Photo from Bohumil Petrik / Catholic News Agency)

In 2014, Pope Francis stressed in his homily how our lives are fleeting. “How we like to be surrounded by so many fireworks, seemingly beautiful, but which in reality last only a few minutes,” he said. He then compared human mortality to that of fireworks saying that there is a “time to be born and a time to die.”

2015: ‘Jesus Is Inseparable From the Church’

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Pope Francis gives the homily during a prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 31. (Photo from CNS photo / Paul Haring / National Catholic Reporter)

The year 2015 marks the time when Pope Francis said that Jesus and his mother Mary are “inseparable,” just like Jesus and the Church. He then went on to say that the Church is the mother of all humanity that guides her children to God.

“To separate Jesus from the Church would introduce an ‘absurd dichotomy,” the Pope told Mass attendees. Without the Church and her guidance, our relationship with Christ “would be at the mercy of our imagination, our interpretations, our moods.”

2016: ‘Indifference Is the Enemy of Peace’

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Pope Francis smiles as he visits the traditional Crib in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on December 31, 2016 (Photo from Filippo Monteforte / AFP / Getty Images / The Independent)

In his New Year’s message for 2016, Pope Francis urged humanity to show compassion and to leave apathy, as it impedes peace in a world that has been filled with conflict and suffering. (Read: Holy See Calls for Peaceful Solutions to Belarus Conflict)

The enemy of peace is not merely war, “but also indifference that makes one think of oneself and creates barriers, suspicions, fears, and closure,” Pope Francis said. He called on the people to open their hearts to the needs of others as this is the way to win the peace. 

2017: ‘Create Peace by Doing Good Every Day’

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Pope Francis delivers a homily at Vespers in St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 31, 2017. (Photo from Daniel Ibanez / Catholic News Agency)

Pope Francis in his New Year’s greetings in 2017 said that the year will be good— to the degree that people will do good and reject hatred. He also prayed for those courageously dealing with terrorism gripping the world in “fear and bewilderment.” (Read: Caritas PH on Anti-Terror Bill: ‘Activism is not Terrorism’)

“The new year will be good in the measure in which each of us, with the help of God, tries to do good, day by day, that’s how peace is created,” Pope Francis said. He advised the people to “say no to hate and violence and yes to brotherhood and reconciliation. 

2018: ‘Let Us Not Extinguish the Hope in the Hearts of Refugees’

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Pope Francis participates in a prayer service on New Year’s Eve in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 31, 2018. (Photo from CNS / Paul Haring / National Catholic Reporter)

In 2018, Pope Francis urged world leaders to do more to help the world’s “weakest and most needy” refugees during his traditional New Year’s address. (Read: Pope Sends Prayers for Typhoon Victims in the Philippines)

Pope Francis said that he had chosen the plight of refugees as the central theme for 2017’s World Day of Peace. “For this peace, to which everyone has a right, many of them are willing to risk their lives in a journey which is often long and dangerous; they are willing to face strain and suffering,” the Pope said. “Please, let us not extinguish the hope in their hearts; let us not suffocate their hopes for peace!” 

He also used his speech to criticize President Trump’s stated intention to build a wall along the US-Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants. (Read: A Look Into the Pope’s Relationship With World Leaders)

2019: ‘Build Bridges Rather Than Opposition’

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Pope Francis visits the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square after leading a prayer service on New Year’s Eve in the basilica at the Vatican Dec. 31, 2019. (Photo from Paul Haring / CNS / The Catholic Sun)

For 2019, Pope Francis offered a direct message to Rome, encouraging locals weary after a year of political bickering that has left many people more confused than clear about their future. He also chastised those who take a hard line on immigration, urging Romans to build bridges and bonds of fraternity rather than opposition.

“God’s decision is clear: To reveal his love, he chooses the small city and the despised city, and when he arrives in Jerusalem, he unites with the sinners and the discarded,” the Pope said.

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