Pope Francis calls for global peace in Christmas message

Pope Francis passionately appealed for worldwide peace and solidarity, emphasizing the essence of brotherhood and sisterhood during this season of grace and hope in his annual Christmas message.

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Pope Francis gestures as he delivers his traditional Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi message to the city and the world from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, December 25, 2023. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Speaking to approximately 6,500 people at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope’s heartfelt plea resonated globally, addressing conflict-ridden regions such as Israel and Palestine, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine.

The Pontiff’s poignant words underscored the harsh realities of contemporary challenges emphasising the need to speak up and advocate for those suffering from lack of basic needs. “From the manger, the Child Jesus asks us to be the voice of those who have no voice. The voice of the innocent children who have died for lack of bread and water; the voice of those who cannot find work or who have lost their jobs,” he said.

His call extended to leaders globally, urging them to confront social and political conflicts, combat poverty, address unemployment, and tackle the rising inequality within nations.

Pope Francis vehemently condemned the destructive impact of war, expressing sorrow over the countless innocent lives it claims. He criticized the hidden motives of those opposing divine light, stating, “Evil forces unite in hypocrisy to conceal their intentions.”

As the world approaches the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis urged humanity to renounce war and actively pursue peace. “Brothers and sisters, we are approaching the season of grace and hope that is the Jubilee, due to begin a year from now.”

Quoting Isaiah’s prophecy, he emphasized the transformative power of Christmas, urging a collective change of heart. “May this time of preparation for the Holy Year be an opportunity for the conversion of hearts, for the rejection of war and the embrace of peace, and for joyfully responding to the Lord’s call.”

The Pope, celebrating 11th Christmas as Pope ever since his reign shares a message that serves as a powerful call to action, inspiring people globally to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and vulnerable.

He concluded with a resounding prayer, “Brothers and sisters everywhere, let us welcome Him! Let us open our hearts to Him, the Saviour, the Prince of Peace.”

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