December 2018: Pope asks for prayers for Christians in Syria

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The pope began the month of December with this symbolic gesture. 

It is one of the thousands of candles in a worldwide campaign of solidarity with Christians in Syria. 

After eight years of war in this country, the number of Christians there has dropped from 10 percent to three percent of the population. 

“Let us pray and help Christians to remain in Syria and the Middle East as witnesses of mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation.”

Moreover, Pope Francis met with the President of Palestine to discuss about Jerusalem. The Vatican is trying to get Israel and Palestine to preserve their Holy City identity for Jews, Christians and Muslims. 

On Dec. 8, the pope maintained the custom of visiting this statue of the Mother of God in the center of Rome. 

On Dec. 12, the pope celebrated a Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in which the Latin songs were not lacking. 

'In 'Mary's school' we learn how to stay on the path to get where we need to be, standing before so many lives that have lost hope or been robbed of hope.'

On Dec. 17 Pope Francis turned 82. He celebrated with the children of the medical dispensary inside the Vatican. 

“It teaches me one thing: that in order to understand the reality of life it is necessary to 'stoop' as we stoop to kiss a child.”

In Dec. Christmas came to the Vatican. This year the Nativity scene was very original. It is a gigantic and detailed sand sculpture. The artists of Jesolo, an Italian town near Venice, created it.

St. Peter's Square was also brightened by a giant 70-feet, 4-ton Christmas tree. 

During their first hours in Rome they were accompanied by the melody 'Silent Night,' which is now 200 years old. 

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