Pope Francis leads Christmas Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica

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Pope Francis officiates Christmas Mass this Saturday at the Vatican with reduced capacity by the increase in coronavirus infections, especially with the Omicron variant.

The pontiff heads the Mass Nativity of the Lord – Urbi et Orbi Blessing on the traditional central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

On Friday, Francisco celebrated the traditional Mass of the Rooster, the first of the liturgical celebrations planned in the Basilica of Saint Peter of the Vatican, before some 1,500 faithful.

The pope commemorated the birth of Christ and called to serve the most disadvantaged, unity in the Church and dignity in the workplace: “No more deaths at work!” He exclaimed to the faithful who returned to St. Peter’s Basilica.

<a class=Pope Francis kisses a statue of the infant Jesus as he celebrates Mass on Christmas Eve in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, on December 24, 2021. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane ” height=”3651″ src=”https://www.infobae.com/new-resizer/rJlSRvu85OezEy7E693jlbdfVGg=/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/infobae/SNCRQJWPW654DRNBUV2RESZOZU.jpg” width=”5500″ />
Pope Francis kisses a statue of the infant Jesus as he celebrates Mass on Christmas Eve in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, on December 24, 2021. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane (GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE /)

“God comes to fill with dignity the hard work. It reminds us how important it is to give dignity to man with work, but also give dignity to the work of man, because man is master and not slave of work. On the Day of Life we ​​repeat: No more deaths at work! And let’s strive to achieve it, “he asked.

Francisco, who turned 85 last week, said the baby Jesus born into poverty should remind people that serving others is more important than seeking status or social visibility or spending a lifetime seeking success.

“It is in them (the poor) where he wants to be honored”said Francis, who has made the defense of the poor a cornerstone of his pontificate. “On this night of love, may we have only one fear: that of offending God’s love, hurting him by despising the poor with our indifference. Jesus loves them with affection, and one day they will receive us in heaven “, He said.

If he is there with us, what are we missing? “the Pope also asked himself during his homily. “So, let’s leave behind the regrets for the greatness that we don’t have. Let us renounce the complaints and long faces, the ambition that leaves unsatisfied “he asked.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Christmas Eve in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, on December 24, 2021. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane (GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE /)

“There is God, in smallness … The creator of the world, he has no home. Today everything is reversed: God comes to the small world. His greatness is offered in smallness”Francisco continued.

But Francis not only addressed the faithful of the world in his homily, but also the own hierarchy of Christianity, calling for “unity” and to practice charity.

Because in the Portal of Bethlehem, he explained, in addition to the shepherds, there are also the “scholars, the rich and the magicians.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, Let’s go back to Bethlehem, let’s go back to the origins: to the essentials of faith, to first love, adoration and charity (…) May God grant us to be an adoring, poor and fraternal Church. This is the essential. Let’s go back to Bethlehem ”, he urged.

Pope Francis at Mass on Christmas Eve in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, on December 24, 2021. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane
Pope Francis at Mass on Christmas Eve in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, December 24, 2021. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane (GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE /)

The Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica has a capacity for 20,000 people, but the capacity has been significantly reduced up to 1,500 faithful, in one of the most important rites of the liturgical calendar, and that last year he celebrated it only before a few people because of the pandemic.

The obligation to Present the certificate of vaccination against the coronavirus, applied to those vaccinated or those who have recently had the disease, it was limited on this occasion only to workers of the dicasteries, agencies and offices of the Roman Curia and related institutions to the Holy See, and to tourists visiting, for example, the Vatican Museums.

(With information from Europa Press)

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