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Everyone needs to pay attention to Catholic leader’s Christmas message

The Pontiff is calling for a change in the world while praying for peace.

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Every year, the pontiff holds the Christmas Day mass in St Peter’s Square and 2017 was no different.

Fox News reports that this year, the message focused on the suffering, war, and tension around the world including the Middle East, Africa, and the Korean Peninsula.

Reflecting on the birth of Jesus, he referred to the suffering reflected “in the faces of little children” in the Middle East who “continue to suffer because of growing tension between Israelis and Palestinians.”

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While Syria remains “marked by war” and the ongoing conflict in Yemen “has been largely forgotten”. Pope Francis also offered a prayer that “confrontation may be overcome on the Korean Peninsula”.

Praying for peace, he added that “the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline.”

Pope Francis concluded by saying: “May we commit ourselves, with the help of his grace, to making our world more human and more worthy for the children of today and of the future.”

Christmas Eve

Prior to this important message, Pope Francis had also shared an interesting homily the night before.

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While celebrating the Christmas vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pontiff compared the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to the story of modern-day immigrants.

Religion News Service reports that he started the mass by bending over to kiss a statue of the baby Jesus before delivering his homily.

The Pope said that the “simple story” of Jesus’ birth in a manger changed “our history forever. Everything that night became a source of hope.”

“So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away but, driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones.”

“In many cases, this departure is filled with hope, hope for the future; yet for many, this departure can only have one name: survival.

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Some migrants are “surviving the Herods of today, who, to impose their power and increase their wealth, see no problem in shedding innocent blood.”

He concluded with a strong message of hope for immigrants saying, God is present in “the unwelcome visitor, often unrecognizable, who walks through our cities and our neighborhoods, who travels on our buses and knocks on our door.”

Pope Francis added, “Christmas is a time for turning the power of fear into the power of charity.

God “invites us to become sentinels for all those bowed down by the despair born of encountering so many closed doors.”

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May people see Jesus in “all those who arrive in our cities, in our histories, in our lives,” he prayed.

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