The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is happy to join the celebrations around the world for the fiftieth anniversary of the Earth Day.
The Dicastery has been preparing for the celebration of the Earth Day through two significant initiatives. Firstly, there has been the release of a commemorative stamp from the Vatican Post to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Earth Day. The stamp designed by Mrs. Joyce Chiarella is a masterpiece of art that represents the integral ecological vision of Laudato Si’. It depicts the beauty and harmony of God’s creation: in the forms, sounds and colours of nature, within which stands out the tender face of a child in a spirit of joyful contemplation. Creation is indeed a precious gift that we have received from God, of which we need to be responsible guardians as Pope Francis teaches us in Laudato Si’.
The second event will be the celebration of the Earth Day for which the Dicastery has been working in close collaboration with the Focolare family and Earth Day Italy. In order to mark the celebrations of the Earth Day, a remarkable 12 hours multimedia marathon entitled “#OnePeopleOnePlanet” has been put in place by Rai Play along with Vatican Media and others, and linked with the global media kermesse “#Earthrise” with the involvement of the 193 member states of the United Nations. The multimedia marathon on Earth Day will open with the General Audience of Pope Francis, followed by an interview with Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery, and Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam, Coordinator of the Sector on “Ecology”. The marathon will continue throughout the day involving hundreds of groups and individuals, all dedicated to the care of Earth, our common home.
As we join hands with all people of good will for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Earth Day, we pray that we may become truly aware that Earth is our common home in which we live together as a common family. As the Earth Charter reminded us at the beginning of the new millennium: “As never before history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning … Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.” (Laudato si', 207) It is an invitation all the more relevant in the context of the current coronavirus epidemic.