Pope at Angelus remembers first Christian martyr and prays for victims of typhoon
The pope at the Angelus reflected on the life of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who was stoned to death. He said his martyrdom was not a reason to be sad, but to rejoice.
“In the joyful spirit of Christmas, this memory of the first Christian to be killed for the faith may appear out of place. However, specifically in the perspective of faith, today's celebration is in harmony with the true meaning of Christmas. In Stephen's martyrdom, violence is defeated by love, and death by life.”
He called Christians to follow St. Stephen's example by putting God and the common good before selfish interests.
“[Our Christian communities] are called to become always more missionary, to strive to evangelize, determined to reach the men and women living in the existential and geographic margins where there is a stronger thirst for hope and salvation.”
The pope also prayed for the victims of the typhoon that hit the Philippines on Christmas Day, leaving several people dead or missing.
“I join in the pain that has hit the Filipino community on account of typhoon Phanfone. I pray for the numerous victims, the wounded and their families.”
To conclude, he wished everyone to be granted the desire to continue to contemplate Jesus in the Nativity scene and to serve Him by serving those most in need.