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Christmas - Natale - Navidad - Noël 2004

Pope St John Paul II's homily at Midnight Mass
St Peter's Basilica, Christmas Midnight Mass - also in French, German, Italian, PolishPortuguese & Spanish

"1. "Adoro te devote, latens Deitas."

"Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore." On this Night, the opening words of this celebrated Eucharistic hymn echo in my heart. These words accompany me daily in this year dedicated to the Eucharist.

In the Son of the Virgin, "wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk 2, 12), we acknowledge and adore "the Bread which came down from heaven" (Jn 6, 41,51), the Redeemer who came among us in order to bring life to the world.

2. Bethlehem! The city where Jesus was born in fulfilment of the Scriptures, in Hebrew means "house of bread." It was there that the Messiah was to be born, the One who would say of himself: "I am the bread of life" (Jn 6, 35,48).

In Bethehem was born the One who, under the sign of broken bread, would leave us the memorial of his Pasch. On this Holy Night, adoration of the Child Jesus becomes Eucharistic adoration.

3. We adore you, Lord, truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar, the living Bread which gives life to humanity. We acknowledge you as our one God, a little Child lying helpless in the manger! "In the fullness of time, you became a man among men, to unite the end to the beginning, that is, man to God" (St Irenaeus).

You are born on this Night, our divine Redeemer, and, in our journey along the paths of time, you become for us the food of eternal life.

Look upon us, eternal Son of God, who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary! All humanity, with its burden of trials and troubles, stands in need of you. Stay with us, living Bread which came down from heaven for our salvation! Stay with us forever! Amen!"

Papa San Giovanni Paolo II's Urbi et Orbi Message on Christmas Day
St Peter's Square, 25 December 2004 - also in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. Christus natus est nobis, venite, adoremus!
Christ is born for us: come, let us adore him!
On this solemn day we come to you,
tender Babe of Bethlehem.
By your birth you have hidden your divinity
in order to share our frail human nature.
In the light of faith, we acknowledge you
as true God, made man out of love for us.
You alone are the Redeemer of mankind!

2. Before the crib where you lie helpless,
let there be an end to the spread of violence in its many forms,
the source of untold suffering;
let there be an end to the numerous situations of unrest
which risk degenerating into open conflict;
let there arise a firm will to seek peaceful solutions,
respectful of the legitimate aspirations of individuals and peoples.

3. Babe of Bethlehem, Prophet of peace,
encourage attempts to promote dialogue and reconciliation,
sustain the efforts to build peace,
which hesitantly, yet not without hope, are being made
to bring about a more tranquil present and future
for so many of our brothers and sisters in the world.
I think of Africa, of the tragedy of Darfur in Sudan,
of Côte d’Ivoire and of the Great Lakes Region.
With great apprehension I follow the situation in Iraq.
And how can I fail to look with anxious concern,
but also invincible confidence,
towards that Land of which you are a son?

4. Everywhere peace is needed!
You, Prince of true peace,
help us to understand that the only way to build peace
is to flee in horror from evil,
and to pursue goodness with courage and perseverance.
Men and women of good will, of every people on the earth,
come with trust to the crib of the Saviour!
"He who bestows the Kingdom of heaven
does not take away human kingdoms" (cf. Hymn for Vespers of Epiphany).
Hasten to meet him;
he comes to teach us
the way of truth, peace and love. "

Catechesis by Pope St John Paul II
Wednesday 29th December 2004 - also in French, German, ItalianPortuguese & Spanish

"1. "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son" (Heb 1, 1-2).

In the Christmas season these opening words of the Letter to the Hebrews acquire singular eloquence. In the Holy Night, God has addressed his definitive Word of salvation to the humanity of every time and every place. The Only-begotten Son of the Father, in being made man, has placed his dwelling amongst us. Thus, the expectation of the Messiah announced by the prophets is fulfilled. The liturgy of this season is a whole meditation and a deepening of the mystery of the Incarnation.

2. Let us continue to stop before the crib! In this traditional representation of the Nativity, "the eternal and omnipotent Creator" speaks to us through the Son, Lord of the universe who was made a child so as to encounter man. The Virgin Mary is the first to welcome him and to present him to the world. Next to her is Joseph, called as Father to be custodian of the Redeemer.

The scene is completed by the angels, who festively proclaim the "glory to God" and announce "peace to all men" (cf Lk 2, 14), and by the shepherds, representatives of the humble and poor people of the earth. In a few days the Magi will arrive, coming from afar to adore the King of the universe.

The liturgy of Christmastide invites us to hasten joyously to the cave at Bethlehem to encounter Jesus Christ, our Saviour: "Come, faithful! Come, let us adore the Lord Jesus!" Let us open the doors of our hearts to Him, so that he may accompany us now and throughout the year that is about to begin."


"J’accueille avec joie les pèlerins francophones. Vous aussi, venez à la crèche adorer le Seigneur Jésus, ouvrez-lui votre cœur pour qu’il vous accompagne tout au long de l’année qui va commencer!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience. I greet particularly the pilgrims from Saint Mary’s Seminary in Houston Texas. I cordially invoke upon all of you in this Christmas Season joy and peace in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Have a happy stay in Rome!

Einen glaubensfrohen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache. Kommt, lasset uns anbeten das Kind in der Krippe. Seid Boten der Liebe Gottes zu den Menschen! Der Friede Christi begleite euch. Frohe und gesegnete Weihnachten!

Saludo a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular al grupo de Palencia. Invito a todos a invocar al Salvador del mundo, nacido en Belén. ¡Feliz Navidad! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Srdečně vítám poutníky z Prahy! Nechť pro nás narozený Spasitel naplní vaše srdce darem pokoje a lásky. K tomu vám rád žehnám! Chvála Kristu!

W okresie Bożego Narodzenia stajemy na progu betlejemskiej stajenki, aby kontemplować tajemnicę wcielenia. Patrząc na Dzieciątko odkrywamy prawdę, że „Wielokrotnie i na różne sposoby przemawiał Bóg do ojców przez proroków, a w tych ostatecznych dniach przemówił do nas przez Syna" (Hbr 1, 1-2). Maryja jako pierwsza przyjęła to Boże Słowo i stała się Matką Zbawiciela. Obok Niej Józef, powołany, aby pełnił rolę ojca i otaczał opieką świętą rodzinę. Scenę dopełniają aniołowie ogłaszający „Chwałę Bogu na wysokościach" i „pokój ludziom dobrej woli". Są też pasterze, przedstawiciele wszystkich ubogich i pokornych na ziemi. Za kilka dni dołączą do nich Mędrcy. I my, wzywani przez liturgię venite adoremus, przychodzimy, aby oddać hołd nowo narodzonemu Panu.

Serdecznie witam wszystkich rodaków. W okresie Bożego Narodzenia w sposób szczególny uświadamiamy sobie ogrom miłości Stwórcy do człowieka. Otwieramy nasze serca na działanie łaski i podejmujemy trud takiego kształtowania naszego życia, aby stawało się coraz bardziej godne tej miłości. Wam i Waszym najbliższym życzę, aby ten czas zaowocował pokojem i radością. Szczęśliwego nowego roku!

Rivolgo il mio benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. In particolare, saluto con affetto i giovani del Movimento dei Focolari e i fedeli di Aprilia. Carissimi, vi auguro di sperimentare la pace e la gioia che Cristo è venuto a donarci nel Natale.

Lastly, I address my cordial greeting to the young people, the sick and the newly-weds. May the light of Christ, that shone upon humanity on Christmas Night, shine upon you and light your steps in the New Year.


"The news that continues to arrive from Asia demonstrates the magnitude of the huge catastrophe that has hit India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand in particular.

The international community and many humanitarian organizations are mobilizing their forces to go straight to the rescue. Many charitable institutions of the Church are doing likewise. In the Christmas atmosphere of these days, I invite all believers and people of good will to contribute generously to this great work of solidarity for the peoples who have already been harshly tried and are now exposed to the risk of epidemics. I feel very close to them with my affection and prayers, especially those who are injured and homeless, as I entrust to divine mercy the countless persons who have lost their lives.

Let us pray for them all, singing the Our Father together."