Pope Francis delivers first Christmas sermon
Pope Francis led his first Christmas Eve mass as Bishop of Rome at the Vatican on Tuesday, urging people not to be afraid of reaching out to God.

The Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter’s Basilica started when Pope Francis entered the basilica carrying a silver processional cross.

Pope Francis, who was elected as the 266th Roman Catholic pontiff on March 13, said, "God Loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness.”

"Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land,” he stressed.

"Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is our peace.”

Thousands of people watched the ceremony inside St. Peter’s Basilica while hundreds of others were in the square outside.

At the end of the service, the Pope carried the Baby Jesus to place in the crib scene near the entrance of the basilica as the congregation sang "Tu Scendi dale Stelle” (You Descent from the Stars).

The pope will deliver on Wednesday another speech titled "Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) at St. Peter’s.

Last Modified: 2013-12-25 08:48:01
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