URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II
1. "To us a child is born,
us a son is given" (Is 9:5).
mystery of Christmas is renewed:
this Child who brings salvation to the
is also born for the men and women of our own time,
and peace for all.
We approach the crib with emotion;
together with Mary
we go to meet
the Long-Awaited of the Nations, the Redeemer of humanity.
Cum Maria contemplemur Christi vultum.
let us contemplate the face of Christ:
in that Child, wrapped in swaddling
and laid in the manger (cf. Lk 2:7),
it is God himself who comes
to visit us,
to guide our feet in the way of peace (cf. Lk 1:79).
watches him, caresses him and keeps him warm,
pondering the meaning of the
which surround the mystery of Christmas.
2. Christmas is a mystery of joy!
The Angels sang
in the night:
"Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased"
To the shepherds they described the event
as "a great
joy for all the people" (cf. Lk 2:10).
Joy, despite distance
the poverty of the manger,
hostility of power.
A mystery of joy nonetheless,
for in the City
"to you is born this day a Saviour"
The Church shares in this same joy,
surrounded today by the
light of the Son of God:
the darkness can never obscure it.
It is the
glory of the Eternal Word,
who out of love has become one of us.
3. Christmas is a mystery of love!
The love of the
Father, who has sent into the world
his only-begotten Son,
to bestow on
us the gift of his own life (cf. 1 Jn 4:8-9).
The love of
who came to earth in order to die on the
In the cold stable, wrapped in silence,
the Virgin Mother, with
already tastes the violent drama of Calvary,
traumatic struggle between darkness and light,
between death and life,
between hatred and love.
The Prince of Peace, born today in Bethlehem,
give his life on Golgotha,
so that love may reign on earth.
4. Christmas is a mystery of peace!
From the cave
there rises today an urgent appeal
to the world not to yield
mistrust, suspicion and discouragement,
even though the tragic reality of
feeds uncertainties and fears.
Believers of all religions,
with men and women of good will,
by outlawing all forms of intolerance and
are called to build peace:
in the Holy Land, above
all, to put an end once and for all
to the senseless spiral of blind
violence, and in the Middle East,
to extinguish the ominous
smouldering of a conflict
which, with the joint efforts of all, can be
in Africa too, where devastating famines and tragic internal
are aggravating the already precarious conditions of entire
although here and there signs of hope are present;
America, in Asia, in other parts of the world,
economic and social crises
disturb the serenity of many families and
May humanity accept the Christmas message of peace!
5. Adorable mystery of the Incarnate Word!
with you, O Virgin Mother, may we stop and reflect
at the manger where the
to share your own amazement
at the immense
"condescension" of God.
Grant us your own eyes, O Mary,
may understand the mystery
hidden within the frail limbs of your Son.
us to recognize his face
in the children of every race and culture.
us to be credible witnesses
of his message of peace and love,
so that the
men and women of our own time,
still torn by conflicts and unspeakable
may also recognize in the Child
cradled in your arms
Saviour of the world,
the endless source of that true peace
every heart profoundly yearns.