The Unity of Peoples


The Second Vatican Council emphasized the importance of asking the Virgin Mary to intercede in favor of the unity of all peoples:

"The entire body of the faithful pours forth instant supplications to the Mother of God and Mother of men that she, who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is above all the angels and saints, intercede before her Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people, whether they are honored with the title of Christian or whether they still do not know the Saviour, may be happily gathered together in peace and harmony into one people of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.”[1]

This appeal should become a constant intention of our prayer: Saint John Paul II stated in fact:

“The peace, harmony and unity for which the Church and humanity hope still seem far away. Nevertheless, they are a gift of the Spirit to be constantly sought, as we learn from Mary and trust in her intercession.”[2]

A visible sign of this confidence in the Blessed Mother’s intercession is what happens in the Marian shrine of Porto Novo, Benin: on the day of the Epiphany, pagans enter the church, they prostate themselves and pray.[3]

A possible opening to the Holy Spirit

Just like Isaiah, whose broad view on God's kingship included His sovereignty over the Gentiles, the Christian faith is broad enough to hope for the Gentiles to receive the Holy Spirit.

The Gentiles visiting Marian shrines are not, however, "Christians without knowing it", nor people who have received salvation without having been baptized. It is about the Holy Spirit, not about salvation. There is no salvation without the incarnate Jesus Christ who died and rose again: and no one can believe in Him without having received the word through preaching to him (Rom 10:14).

The Good News announced to the dead

Christianity teaches that if people have not received salvation on earth, they can still obtain it in the afterlife through the Good News announced to the dead.[4]

The Holy Spirit guides us to recognize Christ. He also leads to good works and therefore prepares us for eternal salvation. For if our deeds are evil, then at the time of death we flee from Jesus and His salvation: but whoever lives by the truth will come to the light (Jn 3:20-21).

John Paul II concluded his audience on Wednesday, October 31, 2001, in the following manner:

"So it becomes clear that the predilection which God has shown Israel as his people is not an act of exclusion, but rather an act of love from which all of humanity is destined to benefit."[5]



To know more


Regarding the call to unity, see the Marian Encyclopedia

Regarding Mary and the Unity of Peoples, see the Marian Encyclopedia



Organisation of the section


This short section presents several texts by Pope Benedict XVI on the Kingdom of God, the unity of the human family, truth and religious tolerance and ends up by the review of the salvation of non-Christians.