Vatican City


Pope's Christmas Greetings to Holy See, Vatican City Staff

“And today we want to thank God first of all for the gift of work”

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Today, Pope Francis met with Holy See and Vatican City State staff, with their respective relatives, to offer Christmas greetings.
Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s address to those present.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We meet again for this beautiful family moment, to exchange Christmas greetings. It is a very pleasing moment for me, because it is the occasion for us to be all together, also with your families, wives and husbands, children, parents, who are often grandparents …
First of all, I want to thank the Lord with you for all His gifts. Because it is true that in these days one thinks of Christmas presents, but in reality He is the one who gives us the true gift, our Father, who gives us Jesus. And, in fact, our gifts, this lovely tradition of exchanging gifts, should express this: a reflection of the unique gift that is His Son made man and born of the Virgin Mary.
And today we want to thank God first of all for the gift of work. Work is most important, be it for the person himself who works, be it for his family. And while we give thanks, we pray for the individuals and families in Italy and in the whole world who do not have work or who, so often, engage in unworthy work, badly paid, harmful to health … We must always thank God for our work. And we must commit ourselves, each one of us with his own responsibility, so that work is fitting, respectful of the person and of the family, <so that it> is just. And here in the Vatican we have a further reason to do so, we have the Gospel, and we must follow the directives of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Here in the Vatican I do not want jobs that are not in this line: no illegal work, no subterfuges.
Therefore, we thank the Lord for everything. But, on my part, today I wish to thank you for your work. I thank each one of you, each one, for the commitment you put every day in doing your work and in trying to do it well, even when perhaps you do not feel so well, or there are family worries … A lovely thing of the Vatican is that, being a very small reality, one succeeds in seeing it as a whole, with the different mansions that make up the whole, and each one is important. The various sectors of work are close and connected; one knows almost everyone; and one feels the satisfaction of seeing a certain order, that things function, with all the limitations, of course, one can always improve and one must, but it does one good to feel that every sector does its part and the whole functions well to the benefit of all. Here, this is easier, because we are a small reality, but this doesn’t take anything away from one’s personal commitment and merit; therefore, I feel the desire to thank you.
This year we have lived was a special year: there was the Holy Year of Mercy. We also did our Jubilee together, do you remember? The first part here, in this Hall, and then we went in procession to the Holy Door. This year the Lord had His mercy flow over us. And did all this grace end with the conclusion of the Jubilee? No! This grace is within us, because we make it fructify in our every day life, be it in the family, be it at work – everywhere. Christmas reminds us of this: “The grace of God appeared, which brings salvation to all men and teaches us […] to live in this world with sobriety, justice and mercy” (Tt 2:111-12), says the Apostle Saint Paul. The “grace of God” “appeared” in Jesus. He is Love, the love of God incarnate, by the power of the Holy Spirit. And all of us have received this same Spirit in Baptism and in Confirmation; but we must invoke Him every day, reawaken the action of the Spirit in us, “to live in this world” – also in this small world of the Vatican – with sobriety, justice and mercy.”
Dear brothers and sisters, while I thank you, I ask you to take my special greeting  to the children and the elderly of your families. They are so important – and a greeting accompanied by prayer to the sick.
I express this wish for all: that your hearts be full of mercy, full of the grace of the Jubilee that Jesus comes to rekindle in us.
May the Lord bless you and may our Lady protect you.
And, remember to pray for me before the Crib. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

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