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56. The Pax Christi Vow of Nonviolence

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From Pax Christi USA (A Roman Catholic Justice Movement)

Pax Christi USA rejects war, preparations for war, and every form of violence and domination. It advocates primacy of conscience, economic and social justice, and respect for creation.

“Recognizing the violence in my own heart, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow to practice the nonviolence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount—

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called [sons and daughters] of God…You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be [sons and daughters] of your Father in heaven,” (Matt.5:9, 43-44).


Before God the Creator I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus

by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life

by accepting suffering in the struggle for justice rather than inflicting it

by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence

by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart

by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of a means to live

by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.

God, I trust in your sustaining love and believe that just as you gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so you will also bestow grace to fulfill it.     —Pax Christi USA



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This Vow of Nonviolence was composed by Eileen Egan and Rev. John Dear, S.J. Tens of thousands of people have taken the Vow. The Vow of Nonviolence can be pronounced privately, with a local peace community, as part of a parish liturgy, or any other way that suits you. Many profess the Vow each year as part of their New Year observance.


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