Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

God giving Jesus to the world is the real gift of Christmas, pope says

VATICAN CITY—While exchanging gifts for Christmas is a beautiful tradition, Pope Francis said, do not forget the one and only real gift people will ever receive is God’s gift to humanity — his son, Jesus Christ.

Also be sure to thank God for the gift of employment and pray for all those who are jobless or experience injustice and exploitation at work, he told Vatican employees during a special audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall Dec. 22.

As Christmas carols in multiple languages played over the public announcement system, many children offered small gifts or notes to the pope, who celebrated his 80th birthday Dec. 17. Some people wore colorful Christmas sweaters, or others, including one small baby, had on red Santa Claus hats.

Multiple generations were present, with employees allowed to bring their parents, grandparents, children and newborns. Families whose members had special needs were seated in the front and were each greeted personally by the pope after the audience. The pope’s chief bodyguard, Domenico Giani, alternated between providing security and doing cellphone-camera duty when he obliged people’s requests to take their picture with the pope.

The pope continued a tradition he began in 2014 of inviting people who work at the Vatican, along with their family members and loved ones, to receive pre-Christmas greetings. The now-annual meeting follows a longer-held tradition of the pope meeting with members of the Roman Curia — the church’s central administrative offices — as well as cardinals living in Rome and members of the papal household.

Pope Francis thanked the Vatican employees, most of them laypeople, for their hard work and dedication, recognizing that the small size of Vatican City often made coordination and cooperation a lot easier.

“We always have to thank God” for the gift of employment, he said, which is important for an individual’s well-being and entire families, he said.

He then asked for prayers for all those around the world, “who do not have work, or else, who often do jobs that are inappropriate, poorly paid or harmful to one’s health.”

The pope requested that everyone, according to their responsibilities, make sure jobs respected people’s dignity and their families and followed the Catholic Church’s social teaching.

The Vatican, above all, he said, must follow these Gospel guidelines, which also meant doing nothing deceitful or illegal in its employment arrangements — “nothing under the table.”

By Carol Glatz / Catholic News Service

CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters: Pope Francis holds a child as he arrives to lead a special audience with Vatican workers Dec. 22 in Paul VI hall. While exchanging gifts for Christmas is a beautiful tradition, Pope Francis said, do not forget the one and only real gift people will ever receive is God’s gift to humanity — his son, Jesus Christ.




  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Dec 1610:00 am Adult Faith Formation
    From the Calendar of Office of Catechesis Webinars
    4:30 pm Bishop to say Mass - Sacred Heart - Charleston
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    Dec 174:00 pm Volunteer Christmas Party - Diocesan Center - Charleston
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    Dec 18 Exams for periods 3 and 4
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    Christmas Sock Day
    From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
    Christmas Holidays - School Closed
    From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Anderson
    No school - holiday
    From the Calendar of St. Mary Help of Christians Aiken
    11 am Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Anne and St. Jude Catholic School
    Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics at St. Ann Church
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    12:00 pm Bishop to say Mass at the Cathedral - Charleston
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    2:00 pm Gr. K3-3rd Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
    Dec 19 Exam for period 5
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    Christmas Breaks BeginsNoon Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Peter School Beaufort
    Crazy Christmas Sweater Day
    From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Francis Catholic School
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Anne and St. Jude Catholic School
    Christmas Break
    From the Calendar of St. Anthony School Florence
    Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Andrew School Myrtle Beach
    10:00 am day-Christmas party
    From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach
    11:30 am Early Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet