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To the City of Rome and the World

ROME (SE): In sending his Christmas greeting to the people of The City of Rome and the World (Ubi et Orbi) at his midday audience on December 25, Pope Francis described the wonder of the occasion as being the power of the child born of God and Our Lady, not with the power of this world, based on might and wealth, but with the power of love.

“It is the power which created the heavens and the earth, which gives life to all creation: to minerals, plants and animals; it is the force which attracts man and woman, and makes them one flesh, one single existence; it is the power which gives new birth, pardons faults, reconciles enemies and transforms evil into good. It is the power of God,” Pope Francis said.

In offering his special greeting of peace to those in the most troubled parts of the globe, he said, “It is the power of service, which inaugurates in our world the kingdom of God, a kingdom of justice and peace.”

He singled out the people of war-torn Syria, especially those in the city of Aleppo, where he said far too much blood has been spilled.

“It is time for weapons to be still forever and the international community to actively seek a negotiated solution, so that civil coexistence can be restored in the country,” he said.

Pope Francis then added the people of Palestine and Israel to his list of those in special need, asking that they may have the courage to write a new page in history, where hate gives way to building a community of mutual understanding.

He mentioned the people of the troubled nations of Iraq, Libya and the Yemen, whom he described as being subjected to terrorism, as well as Nigeria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, praying that division may be healed and people may cooperate in the challenge of building a culture of development and sharing.

Pope Francis then turned his attention to the people of Eastern Ukraine, praying that a common desire may be born to bring relief to the suffering civil population.

He gave a special mention to Colombia in Latin America, which has been struggling to find agreement over ending a decades-long civil war, as well as calling for an end to long standing tensions in Venezuela.

In saying, “Peace to all, who in different areas are enduring suffering due to constant dangers and persistent injustice,” he singled out the Union of Myanmar, asking that efforts for peaceful coexistence may be consolidated.

He then prayed for peace on the Korean peninsula and asked for peace, “not merely by the word, but real and concrete peace.” He included exiles and refugees, as well as migrants and those who suffer hunger and are victims of random violence.

Pope Francis then made a special prayer for children who are suffering from hunger, war and the selfishness of adults, especially at Christmas, because it is the day we celebrate the feast of God becoming a child.

He concluded his greeting with a remembrance for all those who work for peace in the world, saying, “Peace on earth to men and women of goodwill, who work quietly and patiently each day, in their families and in society, to build a more humane and just world, sustained by the conviction that only with peace is there the possibility of a more prosperous future for all.”

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