Pope at Urbi et Orbi Address: "Jesus is the Salvation for Every Person"

Prays for Those Suffering Due to Violence, Persecution and Sickness

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Pope Francis appealed for those who are suffering and persecuted during his Urbi et Orbi («to the City and to the World) Message on Christmas Day. 

The Holy Father began his address by recalling the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, an event that «fulfilled [the]ancient prophecies.»

«Jesus is the salvation for every person and for every people!» he exclaimed. «Humble people, full of hope in the goodness of God, are those who welcome Jesus and recognize him.» 

The Pope then turned his attention to the violence, conflict, and tragedies around the world.

He prayed for those suffering ongoing violence and brutal persecution in Iraq, and that «this Christmas bring them hope,» as well as to «the many displaced persons, exiles and refugees, children, adults and elderly, from this region and from the whole world.»

He prayed that «indifference be changed into closeness and rejection into hospitality, so that all who now are suffering may receive the necessary humanitarian help to overcome the rigours of winter, return to their countries and live with dignity.»

«May the Lord open hearts to trust,» said the Pope, praying that Jesus «may bestow his peace upon the whole Middle East, beginning with the land blessed by his birth.»

The Holy Father also made special appeals for those suffering in the Middle East, Ukraine, and in Africa.

Moreover, he made a dramatic appeal for the nations of Africa who have suffered increasing violence, calling on “all who have political responsibility to commit themselves through dialogue to overcoming differences and to building a lasting, fraternal coexistence.”

The 78-year-old Pontiff acknowledged the «vast numbers of children who are victims of violence, made objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers or «infants killed in the womb, «displaced due to war and persecution». He prayed that Jesus «save» them and give comfort to families.

He also remembered those suffering from illness, especially the victims of the Ebola epidemic, and repeated his “urgent appeal that the necessary assistance and treatment be provided.”

«Truly there are so many tears this Christmas, together with the tears of the Infant Jesus,» he said.

«May this divine power, by its meekness, take away the hardness of heart of so many men and women immersed in worldliness and indifference, the globalization of indifference.»

Concluding his message, Pope Francis prayed that Christ’s «redeeming strength transform arms into ploughshares, destruction into creativity, hatred into love and tenderness.»

«Then we will be able to cry out with joy: ‘Our eyes have seen your salvation,’ he concluded before wishing them a Happy Christmas.


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-urbi-et-orbi-message–2

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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