Vatican City, Dec 25: Pope Francis celebrated his first Christmas Midnight Mass as the supreme leader of catholic church, on Tuesday in St. Peter's Basilica. The bishop praised the Jesus' humble beginning as a poor and vulnerable baby, reported Associated Press.
"You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich, and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable," Francis said, addressing the packed church hall.
The 77-year-old Pope Francis, who is very popuar among the masses for his efforts to draw attention to the plight of the poor, of children, and other vulnerable members of society, noted that the first to receive news of Jesus' birth were shepherds, who were considered as outcastes.
Stressing on the importance of humility, Pope Francis preferred to carry the statue instead of an aide and kissed a knee of the figure of the newly born Jesus. The Argentine-born pope called Jesus' "the light who brightens the darkness."
Francis said, "there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. " He added "if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us". Francis had remarked earlier that that there is no place for person ambition in the clerical hierarchy. Rather, he has insisted, the Catholic church must be one of service to those in need.At the Vatican during the homily, Francis quoted the Apostle John, saying "'whoever hates his brother is in the darkness'" and "'does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.'"
The basilica ceremony was the pope's only public Mass for Christmas. On Wednesday, Christmas Day, Francis will deliver his Christmas message, meant for the world, from the basilica's central balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.
Pope Francis' Christmas message
Pope Francis attended his first midnight mass after assuming the office
Pope Francis celebrates Christmas
The supreme leader of Catholic Church stressed on the importance of humility in his message
Believers flock to Bethlehem
The biblical town of Bethlehem was crowded with people on Tuesday night
Pope Francis praised the Jesus' humble beginning as a poor and vulnerable baby
World celebrates Christmas
The Argentine-born pope called Jesus' "the light who brightens the darkness."
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"The message of Christmas is a message of peace, love and brotherhood. We have to be brothers with each other", said the bishop
As he left the basilica in a procession, Francis was preceded by 10 children carrying flowers, a pair of children each from Italy, the Philippines, Lebanon, his native Argentina and Congo.
Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world gathered at the West Bank Biblical town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations. In the vibrant atmosphere of celebrations, Christian leaders expressed hope that in the coming year Palestinians will have an independent state of their own.
"The message of Christmas is a message of peace, love and brotherhood. We have to be brothers with each other," said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the top Roman Catholic cleric.