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Monday, December 12, 2005


VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2005 (VIS) - Preparation for Christmas was the central theme of Benedict XVI's reflections before praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "In today's consumer society," said the Pope, "this season unfortunately suffers from the 'contamination' of commercialism that risks changing its true spirit, characterized by reflection, sobriety and a joy that does not come from outside, but from within. It is, therefore, providential that the entrance door to Christmas" should be "the feast of the mother of Jesus who brings us to know, love and adore the Son of God, made man. Allow her, therefore, to accompany us ... with sincerity of heart and openness of spirit to recognize in the Child of Bethlehem the Son of God, Who came to earth for our redemption."

  "Immediately after the feast of the Immaculate Conception, many families begin to prepare their nativity scenes, as if to relive, together with Mary, those days filled with trepidation which preceded the birth of Jesus. Bringing the nativity scene into the home can be a simple but efficacious way to present and transmit the faith to children ... A nativity scene can help us understand the true secret of Christmas, because it speaks of the humility and the merciful goodness of Christ, Who 'though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor'."

  To conclude, the Holy Father blessed, according to tradition, the figures of the Child Jesus brought by the children of Rome to St. Peter's Square to place in their own nativity scenes. "With this gesture I invoke the help of the Lord so that all Christian families may prepare to celebrate with faith the forthcoming Christmas celebrations."
ANG/CHRISTMAS/...                                VIS 20051212 (300)

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