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Feast of the Holy Family 2004

Papa Saint John Paul II's words at the Angelus in St Peter's Square
Sunday 26 December 2004 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. Today, the Feast of St Stephen gives way to the Feast of the Holy Family. The Son of God prepared himself to carry out his redeeming mission, living a hard-working and hidden life in the holy house of Nazareth. Thus, united by his Incarnation with every man and woman (cf Gaudium et Spes, 22), he was able to sanctify human families.

2. May the Holy Family, which had to endure many painful trials, watch over all the families of the world, especially those in conditions of hardship. May it likewise help the people of culture and political leaders to defend the family institution founded on marriage and to support families as they face the serious challenges of our time.

3. In this "Year of the Eucharist", may Christian families rediscover the light and strength to journey on in unity and especially, through persevering participation in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, to develop as "domestic churches" (Lumen Gentium, 11). Mary, Queen of the Family, pray for us!"

After the Angelus:

"The Christmas Feast has been saddened by the news from Southeast Asia of the violent seaquake that has struck Indonesia with consequences in other countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Maldives.

Let us pray for the victims of this terrible tragedy and assure all who are suffering of our solidarity, as we express the hope that the international community will do all it can to bring relief to the affected populations.