VATICAN CITY, DEC. 25, 2004 (ZENIT.org).- Here is a translation of the Christmas message given by John Paul II at midday in St. Peter’s Square before he imparted his traditional blessing to Rome and the world.
* * *
1. “Christus natus est nobis, venite, adoremus!” Christ is born for us: come, let us adore him! On this solemn day we come to you, tender Babe of Bethlehem. By your birth you have hidden your divinity in order to share our frail human nature. In the light of faith, we acknowledge you as true God, made man out of love for us. You alone are the Redeemer of mankind!
2. Before the crib where you lie helpless, let there be an end to the spread of violence in its many forms, the source of untold suffering; let there be an end to the numerous situations of unrest which risk degenerating into open conflict; let there arise a firm will to seek peaceful solutions, respectful of the legitimate aspirations of individuals and peoples.
3. Babe of Bethlehem, Prophet of peace, encourage attempts to promote dialogue and reconciliation, sustain the efforts to build peace, which hesitantly, yet not without hope, are being made to bring about a more tranquil present and future for so many of our brothers and sisters in the world. I think of Africa, of the tragedy of Darfur in Sudan, of Côte d’Ivoire and of the Great Lakes Region. With great apprehension I follow the situation in Iraq. And how can I fail to look with anxious concern, but also invincible confidence, towards that Land of which you are a son?
4. Everywhere peace is needed! You, Prince of true peace, help us to understand that the only way to build peace is to flee in horror from evil, and to pursue goodness with courage and perseverance. Men and women of good will, of every people on the earth, come with trust to the crib of the Savior! “He who bestows the Kingdom of heaven does not take away human kingdoms” (cf. Hymn for Vespers of Epiphany). Hasten to meet him; he comes to teach us the way of truth, peace and love.
[Translation of the original Italian text distributed by the Holy See]