Rome (Italy). In this time of suffering and full of reflection, the First International Day of Conscience is celebrated, an initiative of the United Nations Organization (UN), established on July 25, 2019, to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding, and solidarity.
The International Day of Conscience is inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “all human beings (…) are endowed with reason and conscience and must act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” (art 1).
Conscience helps to understand what is right and what is wrong, what is essential and what is superfluous, to act with care and love. In his homily in St. Martha on April 4, 2020, Pope Francis said: “We pray today that the Lord will give everyone a righteous conscience, a transparent conscience, which can be seen by God without being ashamed.”
In harmony with associations and educational movements and social volunteering, in particular, in Italy, with the Peace Table, Peace Schools, March Perugia-Assisi, Libera, Mani Tese, and others, the UN invitation is an opportunity for a concrete commitment, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, to embark on a path that holds hope, especially for the younger generations. In these days there are many appeals to live responsibly, to take the time to awaken consciences and reorganize, to change lifestyles, to take care of relationships, and realize what really matters in life and in society.
Many educational and social realities around the world have organized themselves to find ways to awaken and make room for conscience and to live events together through social networks and collective reflections, interventions, music, songs, poems, messages from all those who wish to collaborate in the change for a just and peaceful world.
International Conscience Day is in line with the Strenna 2020 message “Good Christians and honest citizens” which encourages the Salesian Family to consciously take on the socio-political commitment to be citizens and honest citizens as faithful believers. Educating the conscience according to Christian ethics based on evangelical values leads to continuous personal and social conversion and favors the construction of a just and peaceful society.