After giving Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, Pope Francis immediately headed to Paul VI Hall to do the same thing, but this time he was with hundreds of Vatican employees and their families.
He thanked them for their unseen and often unrecognized work.
"We know that this is normal. It is simply what we must do, but we also know that for us, human beings, it is not easy. We are not machines, thanks to God.”
He asked for forgiveness for scandals in the Vatican during the past year and called for prayers for all of those involved.
"I also want to ask you for forgiveness for the scandals in the Vatican. Pray for the people involved, that those who have made mistakes repent and can come back to find the right way.”
Later, the Pope said that he wanted to speak about the family. He asked them to take care of what is most important.
"Marriage is like a plant. It is not like a closet just left in a room that needs to be dusted occasionally. A life partner should never be taken for granted, not in any phase of life.”
Of course, he also spoke about fighting. The Pope said that it's normal but he recommended that they always resolve the problem on the same day. He added that it won't go away the next day unless they resolve it.
"There was a war during the day? A hot war? Don't leave this war to get cold, because a cold war the next day is more dangerous than a hot one. Understand? Make peace before every night.”
The Pope finished his speech by greeting the employees. He went down to meet and joke with them.
"She is the best mother-in-law in the world. She welcomed me as a daughter.”
"Well, there are some good ones.”
The Pope had recently been sick with the flu, but he still seemed to enjoy passing time with the employees. He spent almost 20 minutes speaking and joking with them. There wasn't a moment when he looked like he wanted to leave.