Panaji, Dec 28 (PTI) Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Ferrao today referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “historic” UN General Assembly address of 2014 in which he spoke about the country’s philosophy of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam’ (the world is one family), during his annual Christmas speech.

Fr Ferrao addressed the annual get-together on the occasion of Christmas in presence of Governor Mridula Sinha and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar amongst others at Archbishop palace here.

On the occasion, he assured help from Church to the state authorities in building a supporting society for promoting peace and harmony.

“I shall end with the assurance that we have given consistently on this meaningful occasion along these years, namely the Church in Goa will be only too glad to offer the collaboration in the building of a supportive society that sincerely and genuinely promotes peace and harmony in our land,” said Fr Ferrao.

During his ten-minute-long speech, he also invoked ‘shlokas’ (couplets) from sacred texts like Maha Upanishad.

“The question I would like all of us to ask today is that how can we work together in this tiny state of Goa to bring out the society of peace, built up on justice, with love as its ground and freedom as its environment,” he questioned.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in the UN General Assembly, the archbishop said, “We are glad to note that our respected Prime Minister opened his historic address at the UN General Assembly in September 2014 with a tribute to India’s ancient tradition telling a packed assembly hall that India’s philosophy, which has guided us since Vedic times, is that of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam'”.

He said that the people of Goa looked up at the government, public authorities and the Church for guidance and good governance.

“Can we create such a space of trust and truthfulness? Beginning right here I invite you, the government, the public authority and ourselves the Church to outdo each other in the healthiest of spirits in the achievement of this goal,” the archbishop said.

Fr Ferrao said Christmas was a celebration of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam’, a famous Sanskrit shloka found in ‘Maha Upanishad’.

“It is perhaps befitting that we read out this great ancient text on the occasion like this. In its English translation, it goes like this: ‘only the small minds discriminate, saying this is my relative, the other is a stranger. For those who live magnanimously the entire world is one family’,” the top priest said.

In other words we believe that we live as one family under God, he said.

“We believe that Christmas is the time to intensify this culture of peace, the peace with humanity and peace with creation that is embedded in the ethos of our country,” the archbishop added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.