In his Christmas message, Pope Francis thought of many suffering in the world and donated the papal blessing “Urbi et orbi”.
"To come to terms with violence and injustice would mean rejecting the joy and hope of Christmas," said Francis on Friday in the Benediction Hall of the Apostolic Palace, commemorating all who work against suffering.
The head of the Catholic Church had to donate the blessing to a smaller group because of the corona restrictions.
At Easter he had done that from St. Peter's Basilica.
Usually a sea of pilgrims awaits the Pope in St. Peter's Square - this year the square was swept empty.
In his Christmas message, Francis prayed for solidarity with those who suffered the pandemic, such as women who were victims of domestic violence or people who had lost their jobs during the crisis.
The corona vaccine should also be made available to all people, especially the most vulnerable.
“We're all in the same boat,” he explained.
Due to the corona pandemic, St. Peter's Square remained empty on Christmas Day
With a view to the global situation in crisis-ridden countries, the 84-year-old drew attention to the fate of the many children in Yemen, Syria and Iraq who are suffering from war;
but also violence and displacement that were inflicted on ethnic groups such as the Yazidis or Rohingya.
He prayed for peace and alleviation of suffering in countries on the African continent where terror, violence and natural disasters afflict people, such as in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ethiopia and Mozambique.
He also appealed to maintain the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh, to continue peace efforts in South Sudan, Nigeria and Cameroon and prayed for a reconciliation between Israel and Palestine.
In the Holy Land, the believers prayed for an end to the corona pandemic at midnight mass in Bethlehem, the place in the West Bank that is revered as the birthplace of Jesus.
Like the entire Christmas celebrations this year, this fair also took place under Corona restrictions and only in the presence of Christian dignitaries.
In his Christmas message, the Argentine Francis also looked to the American continent.
He wished the countries that had been hit hard by Corona strength and consolation;
as well as the countries in Asia where natural disasters affected the population.
"Urbi et orbi" blessing donated
The pontiff then donated the papal blessing “Urbi et orbi” (For the city and the world).
With the blessing, the Pope releases the believers from the penalties for their sins, if they have already extinguished them beforehand, for example in confession or through prayers.
The blessing is usually given at Christmas, Easter and after an election of the Pope.
This year, Francis had donated the blessing on the occasion of the corona pandemic on March 27th.
Believers can also receive the blessing via radio, television or the Internet and do not have to be on site at the Vatican.
“Urbi et orbi” is aimed at the city of Rome, whose bishop, the Pope, is, and the globe, ie the world.