December 25, 2011. (Romereports.com) By noon, thousands of people had flocked to St. Peter's Square in Rome to hear the pope's Christmas greeting, which this year sounded like this: “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”.
The pope read his Christmas speech, which mentioned the situation in the Middle East and remembered those who are facing special difficulties.
“Together let us ask God’s help for the peoples of the Horn of Africa, who suffer from hunger and food shortages, aggravated at times by a persistent state of insecurity. May the international community not fail to offer assistance to the many displaced persons coming from that region and whose dignity has been sorely tried”.
Among the dozens of languages used by the pope, among them was Chinese, Urdu, Latin and Esperanto, which brought the applause of many of the language's admirers.
The pope then gave his solemn blessing, the “Urbi et Orbi,” “to the city of Rome and the world”. It's significant because only he can impart the blessing. It's traditionally given only on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.
In St. Peter's Square, alongside the impressive Christmas tree from Ukraine, the traditional Nativity scene can now be seen adorning the center of Christianity, a tradition that began 30 years ago.