Pax Christi Flanders


The symbol of Pax Christi Flanders is the peace dove with two open hands.

Children ask us: “Why does the peace dove have hands instead of wings?”
Our answer is: “Only with open hands can peace be reached and peace built up. Give peace a hand,” is an invitation to us all.


If hands are made into fists discord and hate,
envy and quarrels, emerge.
Fists mean beating and mutilating.
Fists mean hurting each other.
Fists mean grasping money and possessions tightly.
Fists mean disdain and humiliation.
Fists are always claiming.

Open hands give confidence. They choose for life.
Open hands share with the poor and the oppressed. They care for those who are hurt.
Open hands invite understanding and dialogue.
They take responsibility for creation.
Open hands are a gesture of love and friendship.

They are a symbol of our non-violent efforts.
Open hands inspire reconciliation.
They take barriers away.
Open hands are raised in prayer.
They build justice and peace.

It is meaningful to open our hands regularly and look at them.
We see reflections of the love in which we were created.
They symbolise our vocation towards peace.
Jesus of Nazareth did good deeds.
He laid his hands on sick people and cured them.
He lifted those with a broken heart.
He folded his hands in prayer.
He broke bread and offered it around.
And finally, he spread his hands wide open to embrace everyone, excluding no one, as a gesture of the Spirit who inspired him.
Working out a covenant generates peace.

Hereby the justly spoken word has an important role next to the open hand.
They express the spirit in which we live.
Also the hand of Helder Camara, bishop of the poor, once had the same strength as his inspiring words.
Open hands chase away the fear of others.
Open hands strengthen the words of forgiveness.
Open hands build the covenant of peace between God and humankind.