The Nativity of the Lord – 25 Dec – Pope’s Urbi et Orbi Message
URBI ET ORBI” MESSAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” ( Is 9,1).
Dear brothers and sisters, Merry Christmas!
From the womb of the mother Church, this night the Son of God made man was born again. His name is Jesus, which means God saves. The Father, eternal and infinite Love, sent him into the world not to condemn him, but to save him (cf. Jn 3:17). The Father gave it, with immense mercy. He gave it to everyone. He gave it forever. And He was born, like a small flame lit in the dark and cold of the night.
That Child, born of the Virgin Mary, is the Word of God made flesh. The Word that guided Abraham’s heart and steps towards the promised land, and continues to attract those who trust in the promises of God. The Word that guided the Jews on the path from slavery to freedom, and continues to call the slaves of every time, even today, to leave their prisons. It is Word brighter than the sun, embodied in a little son of man, Jesus, light of the world.
For this reason the prophet exclaims: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” ( Is 9: 1 ). Yes, there is darkness in human hearts, but the greater the light of Christ. There is darkness in personal, family, social relationships, but the greater the light of Christ. There is darkness in economic, geopolitical and ecological conflicts, but the greater the light of Christ.
May Christ be light for the many children who suffer from war and conflict in the Middle East and in various countries of the world. May it be comfort for the beloved Syrian people who still do not see the end of the hostilities that have torn the country apart in this decade. Shake the consciences of men of goodwill. Inspire today the rulers and the international community to find solutions that guarantee the safety and peaceful coexistence of the peoples of the Region and put an end to their unspeakable suffering. May it be support for the Lebanese people, so that they can emerge from the current crisis and rediscover their vocation to be a message of freedom and harmonious coexistence for all.
May the Lord Jesus be light for the Holy Land where he was born, the Savior of man, and where the expectation of many continues who, despite their efforts but without losing faith, are waiting for days of peace, security and prosperity. May it be consolation for Iraq, undergoing social tensions, and for Yemen, experienced by a serious humanitarian crisis.
Hope be the little Child of Bethlehem for the entire American continent, where different nations are experiencing a season of social and political upheaval. Refresh the dear Venezuelan people, long tried by political and social tensions and do not let them lack the help they need. Bless the efforts of those who are working to promote justice and reconciliation and strive to overcome the various crises and the many forms of poverty that offend the dignity of each person.
Let the Redeemer of the world be light for dear Ukraine, which aspires to concrete solutions for lasting peace.
May the Lord who was born be a light for the peoples of Africa, where social and political situations persist that often force people to emigrate, depriving them of a home and a family. May peace be for the population living in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, tormented by persistent conflicts. May it be comfort to those who suffer from violence, natural disasters or health emergencies. May it be comfort to those who are persecuted because of their religious faith, especially the missionaries and the faithful kidnapped, and to those who fall victim to attacks by extremist groups, especially in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.
May the Son of God, descended from Heaven on earth, be a defense and support for all those who, because of these and other injustices, must emigrate in the hope of a safe life. It is injustice that forces them to cross deserts and seas, transformed into cemeteries. It is injustice that forces them to suffer unspeakable abuse, slavery of all kinds and torture in inhuman detention camps. It is injustice that rejects them from places where they could have the hope of a dignified life and makes them find walls of indifference.
Emmanuel be light for all wounded humanity. Untie our often hardened and selfish heart and make us instruments of his love. Through our poor faces, give his smile to children all over the world: to those abandoned and those who have suffered violence. Through our weak arms, dress the poor who have nothing to cover, give bread to the hungry, take care of the sick. For our fragile company, be close to the elderly and the lonely, migrants and marginalized. On this day of celebration, give everyone his tenderness and lighten the darkness of this world.
Dear brothers and sisters ,
I renew my best wishes for a Merry Christmas to all of you, who have come from all over the world to this square, and to all those from different countries who are connected by radio, television and other means of communication. I thank you for your presence on this day of joy.
We are all called to give hope to the world, announcing with words and above all with the testimony of our life that Jesus, our peace, was born.
Please don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good Christmas lunch and goodbye!