Friendenslicht

pfadis_mit_friedenslicht_21.jpg     The Peace Light 

The Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company – ORF Linz in Upper Austria. It was part of a large charitable relief mission –Licht ins Dunkel (“Light into Darkness”), for children in need in Austria and abroad. Since 1986 there has been a great deal of co-operation between different organisations like the Scouts or the Fire brigade in many countries, which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe. The light is passed on in more than  25 European Countries (Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Poland , Britain ,…..), and for the past few years even to America .

Each year, a child from Upper Austria is allowed to travel to the grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born and fetch the light. The child chosen has done some remarkable deed, – charity work or  saving a person’s life. The light is then flown to Austria from where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who take it back, with a message of Peace to their own countries for use at ecumenical services throughout the Continent.

Charity organisations and the Scouts and Guides can then take the light on to other churches, hospitals, and a number of places of public, cultural and political importance – to anybody that appreciates the significance of the peace Light. In past years the light has been presented to Pope Benedict XVI, and members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the UN Troops and to Ground Zero, New YorkThe ORF-Light of Peace from Bethlehem is not a magical symbol which is able to bring peace by itself. It tries to remind us all to bring peace to our world and it tries to raise awareness for peace in our every day life. The small flame which is passed on from candle to candle, from hand to hand should be a sign for peace between us all. 

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    stbrendans Says:

    What a lovely custom and very appropriate to the season that we have. Thanks for sharing this story of the peace light with us.
    Nollaig Shona
    Tom


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