The Pope’s Christmas (episode 4) – Le Salon Beige

Sequel to Christmas tale whose previous episodes can be read here, the and the.

St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on December 24, 2022.

Nine thousand people squeeze into the basilica. A huge crowd braved the cold and rushed to Saint-Pierre Square in front of the giant screens. A swarm of journalists and cameramen took their places in the press gallery.

Midnight Mass is about to begin. Then, to the surprise of the thirty cardinals and the hundred bishops present, while the choir of the canons of Saint Peter sang the Gregorian introit “Dominus dixit ad me”, the pope and the celebrants, dressed in sumptuous ornaments , advance towards the altar of the confession of Saint Peter, all illuminated. “The Lord said to me: You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Why did the nations roar? Why have the peoples meditated on vain projects? Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, now and always, and forever and ever. The Lord said to me: You are my Son, today I have begotten you. »

The ceremonial knew how to keep the secret. He prepared with the Holy Father and his assistants the celebration of the pontifical mass according to the ancient Roman rite. The liturgy takes place in front of the cameras of admiring journalists with a splendor to which they are not accustomed.

The reading once sung in Latin and read in Italian by a cleric taking the role of the subdeacon, a deacon proclaims the gospel in the same way, then the pope is led to the ambo for the homily:

“Dear brothers and sisters, on this holy night, Jesus was born of a young Virgin: he is the Saviour, he is Peace. The angels announce it to these little ones, to these poor people who are the shepherds, and as a sign, they announce to the shepherds that they will find a baby lying in a manger, an animal manger. Then they sing in the sky: Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth to the men who are the objects of his love!

Dear brothers and sisters, as Bishop of Rome, I would like, in the humble measure of my possibilities, to work myself to bring down on the Church and on the world a ray of this peace that Jesus came to bring. I want to do this with strong gestures, more than words. Jesus brought peace without saying anything, simply by being born into the greatest poverty, that of a manger in a stable. I want to give a great sign of the Pope’s desire to bring peace to the Church, by celebrating Mass this night according to the ancient rite.

There should be no more liturgical warfare among Catholics. Everyone must be able to pray according to the form that best helps them to address the Lord, and if young and fervent Catholics prefer the ancient rite, I want, this night, to give an example to all the bishops of the world to meet them and grant them what they ask for. In a world at war, let us show that peace is at the heart of the Church: “Blessed are the peaceful, for they will be called children of God! »

My homily will end there. Our world is threatened with a terrible world war. On this Christmas night, peace came to us through Mary, the mother of Jesus, a young woman of 15 or 16 years old. I have confidence in the role that women could play in favor of peace which is so threatened today. So I proposed to a young woman to speak to the women and men of our world. Jeanne asked me to be able to have complete freedom of expression. I consented. The Church has confidence in women. The Church has confidence in young people. »

(to be continued…)

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The Pope’s Christmas (episode 4) – Le Salon Beige

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