Urbit et Orbi: Benedict XVI issues Christmas greeting in over 65 languages and includes message to China
December 25, 2012. (Romereports.com) The yearly tradition shaped up with thousands of pilgrims gathered at St. Peter’s Square in anticipation of the Pope’s Christmas message. Benedict XVI stepped out into the main balcony to deliver his speech and issue greetings in over 65 languages, including Chinese, Arabic and Esperanto.
“May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may your hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the Saviour has been born for us.”
During his speech, the Pope called for global peace, especially in the Holy Land, Syria, and in other areas going though difficult times.
“May the Birth of Christ favour the return of peace in Mali and that of concord in Nigeria, where savage acts of terrorism continue to reap victims, particularly among Christians. May the Redeemer bring help and comfort to the refugees from the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and grant peace to Kenya, where brutal attacks have struck the civilian population and places of worship.”
“May the King of Peace turn his gaze to the new leaders of the People’s Republic of China for the high task which awaits them. I express my hope that, in fulfilling this task, they will esteem the contribution of the religions, in respect for each, in such a way that they can help to build a fraternal society for the benefit of that noble People and of the whole world.”
The Urbi et Orbi greeting is delivered only a handful of times. They include Christmas, Easter Sunday and on the election of a new pope.
The Vatican’s Nativity scene in the heart of St. Peter’s Square also makes its debut on this day. This year’s display varies greatly from years past.