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Pope Francis' Christmas Message to the World.

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posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 07:27 PM
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The Vatican's official English-language translation of Pope Francis' Christmas message, delivered on Wednesday in Italian from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

_______

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors (Luke 2:14)

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Christmas!

I take up the song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. It is a song which unites heaven and earth, giving praise and glory to heaven, and the promise of peace to earth and all its people.

I ask everyone to share in this song: it is a song for every man or woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty.

Glory to God!

Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to God, for he is good, he is faithful, he is merciful. Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us Jesus. My hope is that everyone will feel God's closeness, live in his presence, love him and adore him.

May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters.

Peace to mankind.

True peace is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely "façade" which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment, starting from God's gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.

Looking at the Child in the manger, our thoughts turn to those children who are the most vulnerable victims of wars, but we think too of the elderly, to battered women, to the sick. Wars shatter and hurt so many lives!

Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance. Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid. We have seen how powerful prayer is! And I am happy today too, that the followers of different religious confessions are joining us in our prayer for peace in Syria. Let us never lose the courage of prayer! The courage to say: Lord, grant your peace to Syria and to the whole world.

Grant peace to the Central African Republic, often forgotten and overlooked. Yet you, Lord, forget no one! And you also want to bring peace to that land, torn apart by a spiral of violence and poverty, where so many people are homeless, lacking water, food and the bare necessities of life. Foster social harmony in South Sudan, where current tensions have already caused numerous victims and are threatening peaceful coexistence in that young state.

Prince of Peace, in every place turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue. Look upon Nigeria, rent by constant attacks which do not spare the innocent and defenseless. Bless the land where you chose to come into the world, and grant a favorable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.

Lord of life, protect all who are persecuted for your name. Grant hope and consolation to the displaced and refugees, especially in the Horn of Africa and in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Grant that migrants in search of a dignified life may find acceptance and assistance. May tragedies like those we have witnessed this year, with so many deaths at Lampedusa, never occur again!

Child of Bethlehem, touch the hearts of all those engaged in human trafficking, that they may realize the gravity of this crime against humanity. Look upon the many children who are kidnapped, wounded and killed in armed conflicts, and all those who are robbed of their childhood and forced to become soldiers.

Lord of heaven and earth, look upon our planet, frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity. Help and protect all the victims of natural disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by the recent typhoon.

Dear brothers and sisters, today, in this world, in this humanity, is born the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Let us pause before the Child of Bethlehem. Let us allow our hearts to be touched, let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God; we need his caress. God is full of love: to him be praise and glory forever! God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world. Let us allow ourselves to be moved by God's goodness.




posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 07:34 PM
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Pope Francis reaches out to atheists and other religions in first Christmas message

“I invite even non-believers to desire peace. (Join us) with your desire, a desire that widens the heart. Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace,” the pope said in his Christmas message


Swiss Guards marches after Pope Francis delivered his first "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and world) message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec.25, 2013.

By: Reuters Published on Wed Dec 25 2013

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis offered Christmas wishes Wednesday for a better world, praying for protection for Christians under attack, battered women and trafficked children, peace in the Middle East and Africa, and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict around the globe.
And he urged atheists and followers of other religions to join together in the quest for global peace.

Francis delivered the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “to the city and to the world”) speech from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to more than 70,000 cheering tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below.

In his first Christmas message since being elected pontiff in March, he asked for all to share in the song of Christmas angels, “for every man or woman . . . who hopes for a better world, who cares for others,” humbly.

Among places ravaged by conflict, Francis singled out Syria, which saw its third Christmas during civil war, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Iraq.

In Iraq on Wednesday, militants targeted Christians in two attacks, including a bomb that exploded near a church during Christmas mass in Baghdad. The separate bombings killed dozens of people.

The Vatican has been trying to raise concern in the world for persecution and attacks on Christians in parts of the Middle East and Africa.

“Lord of life, protect all who are persecuted in your name,” Francis said.

Adding an off-the-cuff remark, Francis said he was also inviting atheists to join their desire for peace with everyone else.

“I invite even non-believers to desire peace. (Join us) with your desire, a desire that widens the heart. Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace.”

The Pope also prayed that God “bless the land where you chose to come into the world and grant a favourable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Francis then explained his concept of peace.

“True peace is not a balancing of opposing forces. It’s not a lovely

www.thestar.com...



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 07:42 PM
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Pope at Christmas Eve Mass: 'Do not be afraid'

(CNN) -- Pope Francis rang in his first Christmas at the Vatican with a Christmas Eve Mass preaching a message of love and forgiveness.


"On this night, let us share the joy of the Gospel. God loves us. He so loves us that he gave us his son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats, 'Do not be afraid,' ... And I, too, repeat, do not be afraid,'" the Pope said.

"Our Father is patient. He loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightened the darkness. Our Father forgives always. He is our peace and light."

He called on the throngs gathered at St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday to cast aside hatred.

"God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. Yet on the part of the people, there are times of both light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience and rebellion, times of being a pilgrim people, and times of being a people adrift," the Pope said. "In our personal history, too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light. But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us, and around us. Whoever hates his brother -- writes the Apostle John -- is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes."


Before the Mass, pilgrims gathering in Vatican City told CNN they were excited to celebrate with the Pope.
"We want to share this special moment with a person who is a beloved person, and we appreciate all he's doing," one woman said.

www.cnn.com...



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 07:43 PM
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“True peace is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment.” *claps*

He also went off script and spoke directly to atheists once again in his call for peace.
“I invite even nonbelievers to desire peace,” he said. “Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace.”



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 07:51 PM
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i needed to get these statements together here, because i noticed in the Internet's editorializing of the new Pope's first Christmas massage that the statements at the mass, and the Christmas statement, and then part about atheists joining in a desire for peace were clearly separated and delineated from one another very clearly, with his Christmas mass homily being the least reported, probably because it spoke of the darkness and how in God who is light, there is no darkness at all.

All in all, imho, he shared the gospel while giving the gears to the greedy and the self-seeking and the dark, both in the world, in nations and in individual people themselves. Which is just perfect imho.

I was very very pleased and happy that the Gospel was preached this Christmas by Pope Francis.

He did a good job, using the occasion to pick and choose his words wisely.

Captured the essence of our time and offered the appropriate message of light and hope, and placing our trust once again on the goodness of God.

It made me very happy.


Happy Christmas and all the very best in the New Year,

NAM



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 08:13 PM
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They sure have an awesome choir at the Vatican! My are they ever good.




posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 08:28 PM
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During the Mass, he carried the statue of the baby Jesus (looks more like the toddler the Magi were reported to have come to visit) instead of an aid as it the custom, later kissing the statue on it's knee (conveying the meaning the Magi's visit, and a hallmark in the life of Jesus surely)


Pope Francis cradles a baby Jesus statue at start of his first papal Christmas Eve Mass at Vatican



VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis lauded Jesus' humble beginning as a poor and vulnerable baby as he celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass as pontiff Tuesday in St. Peter's Basilica.

"You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich, and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable," Francis said of Jesus as he delivered his homily in the basilica, packed with faithful.

Francis has dedicated much of his nine-month-old papacy to drawing attention to the plight of the poor, of children, and other vulnerable members of society.

He noted that the first to receive news of Jesus' birth were shepherds, who in society were considered "among the last, the outcast."

The bells of St. Peter's rang as Francis, who turned 77 a week ago, walked briskly up the main aisle of the basilica for the ceremony, which began Tuesday 2 1/2 hours before midnight. Keeping with the theme of humility he has set for his new papacy, Francis carried the statue instead of an aide, and kissed a knee of the figure of the newly born Jesus.

The occasional wail of babies in the basilica contrasted at times with the sweet voices of the choir.

The Argentine-born pope has also encouraged his flock to be a joyful church, and he called Jesus' "the light who brightens the darkness."

In the world's history and our own personal history, Francis said, "there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. " He added "if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us."

Francis has applied this same vision to the heart of the Vatican's own working, saying in past remarks there is no place for personal ambition in the clerical hierarchy. Rather, he has insisted, the Catholic church must be one of service to those in need.

Earlier, in the Holy Land, thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world packed the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations, bringing warm holiday cheer to the biblical birthplace of Jesus on a cool, clear night.

The heavy turnout, its highest in years, helped lift spirits in Bethlehem as leaders expressed hope that the coming year would finally bring the Palestinians an independent state of their own.

"The message of Christmas is a message of peace, love and brotherhood. We have to be brothers with each other," said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, as he arrived in town.

At the Vatican during the homily, Francis quoted the Apostle John, saying "'whoever hates his brother is in the darkness'" and "'does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.'"

The basilica ceremony was the pope's only public Mass for Christmas. On Wednesday, Christmas Day, Francis will deliver his Christmas message, meant for the world, from the basilica's central balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.

As he left the basilica in a procession, Francis was preceded by 10 children carrying flowers, a pair of children each from Italy, the Philippines, Lebanon, his native Argentina and Congo.

___

AP reporter Mohammed Daraghmeh contributed to this report from Bethlehem.


Apparently he also said something about Jesus being born without a home, to highlight the way that God came into the world as vulnerable.

This is a good article (below), in particular the video at the end of it, which ends with the suggestion that he's taking on the high and mighty in the name of the poor and the downtrodden and vulnerable, which may be a good characterization of the new Pope and the kind of thing that i've waited a long time to see, it's nice to see our voice picked up and echoed by Francis.



Pope Francis urges faithful to have open heart to avoid 'pride, deceit, self-seeking'
In his first Christmas Eve Mass, the immensely popular Pope encouraged his flock to emulate Jesus and 'walk in the light' with humility and openness

Read more: www.nydailynews.com...


edit on 26-12-2013 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 11:51 AM
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The more I hear about this pope the more I'm thinking he's a pretty stand up dude, even a non believer like myself can appreciate a good message. Kudos pope guy!



posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 10:29 PM
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NewAgeMan

Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us Jesus. My hope is that everyone will feel God's closeness, live in his presence, love him and adore him.

May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters.

Peace to mankind.


This is my favorite part, in particular about the true face of God the Father in sending Jesus the son.

He doesn't mess around, get's right to the point. I love it!

I'm still thrilled by it, not as in adoration for the Pope who is humble anyway, but for the fact that the Gospel was preached, clearly and unequivocally, in so few words and in such simple and straightforward terms.

It was a message of bright hope and optimism in a sometimes dark world, a light in the darkness is the coming of the Lord as he also highlighted during the Christmas evening mass.

Any day the Gospel is preached is a good day imho. As a fellow Christian believer - I'll take it. It was good.



posted on Dec, 28 2013 @ 01:17 AM
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i'm moved to add this to this thread to make the most of the Christmas spirit this year, may it last into the New Year, and beyond..!





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