With the bells of St. Peter’s ringing at 12 noon, Pope Francis appeared at his study window overlooking the square for his usual Sunday recitation of the Angelus. Pilgrims greeted him with applause and a Christmas carol.
"You all sing so well! Bravo!”
Marking the Feast of the Holy Family, the Pope reflected on what we can learn from how the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph cared for Jesus.
"Our Lady and Saint Joseph teach us to welcome children as a gift from God, to get them and rear them, cooperating in a wonderful way with the Creator’s work and giving to the world, in every child, a new smile.”
The Pope said that when the family is united, children can naturally understand and assimilate values of gratuitous love, tenderness and mutual respect.
"The characteristics of the Holy Family are: meditation and prayer, mutual understanding and respect, self-sacrifice, work and solidarity.”
Turning to a different topic, Pope Francis appealed for help for Cubans who have left their homeland trying to reach the US before favorable asylum policies for them are eliminated. The Cubans remained blocked in Costa Rica, since Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize have refused them entry.
"My thoughts in this moment go out to the numerous Cuban migrants who find themselves in difficulty in Central America, many of whom are victims of human trafficking: I invite the countries of the region to renew with generosity all necessary efforts in order to find a rapid solution to this humanitarian drama.”
The Pope waved goodbye while admiring the nativity scene in the Square below, and as pilgrims sang a traditional Spanish-language Christmas carol called "The fish in the River”.