After violent attacks against Christians in Nigeria and the Philippines the Pope called for peace and forgiveness.
Rome [kath.net/as] This year the Feast of the Holy Family fell on the first Sunday after Christmas on today's feast of St. Stephen. In his address before the traditional prayer of the Angelus, Pope Benedict expressed the unity of the Holy Family, which must be a model for every family.
After the Angelus the Pope discussed the episodes of violence which occured in the Phillipines and in Nigeria against Christians, which in the Philippines claimed 32and in Nigeria a dozen lives. Benedict XVI renewed an urgent call for peace and reconciliation and explained his sorrow for the victims of this "absurd act of violence".
"I renew again my outcry to leave the way of hate, for peaceful solutions for these conflicts, and to create security and peace for these dear people," said Benedict XVI. "On this day, when we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, who survived the dramatic experience of beimg pursued by Herod's murderous anger into Egypt, remind us also of everyone and especially families who are forced to leave their homes because of war. To flee violence and intolerance. I invite you, therefore, to join me in prayer, to ask the Lord that He could touch the hearts of men and instill hope, reconciliation and peace.
On the feast of the Holy Family the Pope asks the faithful, to consider this "Ikon", in which the small Jesus in the midst of affection and concern of His parents. Every child has something of this mystery within. People don't only experience the procreation of children solely as a pure act of reproduction. They "take its richness for real and understand that every person, who comes into the world, comes as a sign for the prominence of the creator and the Father in Heaven." For this reason it is important that every child that comes into the world should be received in to the warmth of a family.
Extraordinary luxuries are not important, said Benedict XVI rather just the love of the father and the mother. This gives the child security and places him in their care, to discover the reason for life.
The Holy Father greeted the pilgrims from Germany with the following words:
A Christmas Greeting for the pilgrims and visitors in the German language. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. The word of God has become man and has grown in a family, which had protected him from the storms of the time. Jesus Christ also blessed our families and left the gift of his divine love shining in them. For you and your loves I wish you a Grace filled Christmas time.
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