Rome/London. 25 Dec. INTERFAX – During a mass on Christmas eve, Pope Francis urged to give charity find themselves in the sad situation of the refugees, according to the newspaper “La Repubblica”.
Addressing those gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pontiff noted that “the simple story of the birth of Jesus could change our history forever.”
“All that night became a source of hope,” the Pope added.
He also called on followers of the Catholic Church not to ignore the predicament faced by millions of refugees forced to flee their homes, escaping from violence. The head of the Church and compared the path with the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem before the birth of Christ.
The guardian reports that early Christmas began to celebrate Australians, many of whom in this afternoon we gather on the beaches, barbecues and surfing, wearing the traditional red hat of Santa Claus.
The weather in different parts of the continent showed a variety. Melbourne recorded a cool wind with moderate for this time of year, 22 degrees Celsius in Sydney – 23 degrees above zero, and in Brisbane turned out to be one of the hottest days lately – plus 36 degrees Celsius. In the Western, Central and Northern parts of the country, temperatures exceeded 40 degrees.
Despite the devastating tropical storm Tembin that killed more than 230 people, a holiday celebrated in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos have to spend Christmas in the shelters, which had been evacuated at the end of last week.
However, according to local media, is not without its festive mood. In particular, in Tanga city in the province of Misamis Occidental, which is annually visited by thousands of tourists for the spectacular light show, lasting the whole month of December, the holiday celebrated noisy street parties. Meanwhile in the capital, Manila, in honor of Christmas, the townspeople were preparing the main dish Lechon, which is a roasted on a spit pig.
The solemn Christmas mass was held at St. Paul’s Church in Iraq’s Mosul for the first time in the last four years, during which the city held by terrorists. Christmas also met residents of the Syrian Damascus, they gathered in the predominantly Christian area of Bab Sharqi in the brightly decorated Church al-Zaytun. In the Egyptian Cairo Christmas mass was held at St. Joseph Church.
On Christmas eve the king of Spain, Philip VI, made a Christmas speech to his subjects, in which, in particular, urged supporters of the independence of Catalonia to avoid confrontation. As marks Bi-Bi-si, the message he, according to tradition, completed in Castilian, Basque, Catalan and Galician languages.
His annual Christmas message Monday will be the British Queen Elizabeth II. According to media reports in the UK, she will tell a citizen of the United Kingdom about how inspired by the “exploits young people,” remember the courage of the British, faced this year with the terrorist attacks, as well as thank her husband, Prince Philip for their support and sense of humor.
In Germany, Christmas eve was observed at elevated security measures: in Berlin’s traditional Christmas markets were surrounded by a concrete barrier installations, in lÃ¼neburg, in Lower Saxony, one of the schools canceled the Christmas party after complaints of student-Muslim traditional songs. However, in Munich, the city authorities tried to unite Christians and Muslims, depicting on the advertising poster of a snowman in the cloak, and the Christmas market was renamed in the winter. So did in Galle.
In the Bethlehem Basilica of the Nativity, built on the spot where, as expected, was born Jesus Christ, have accepted a huge number of Christian pilgrims against the backdrop of raging protests by Palestinians against the recognition by Washington of Jerusalem the Israeli capital. The city introduced increased security measures. The mass was attended by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Residents of some countries had an unconventional Christmas eve for Catholics. For example, in the Macedonian city of Skopje was held the race of Santa Claus, which was attended by hundreds of townspeople, dressed in the costume of this popular character. In Shanghai, China in honour of the Nativity held a “Night of the battle of pillows”, and the German Senftenberg members of the local club swimmers in the run up to Christmas, according to tradition, made the swim in the eponymous lake.