VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI said the contemporary Christmas season is being spoiled by “commercial pollution” that obscures the true meaning of Christ’s humble birth.
People need to remember that Christ was born in a manger, in a sign of poverty, the Pope said on December 11 as he greeted pilgrims from his apartment window.
Later, keeping up a tradition of Pope John Paul II, he blessed Nativity creche figurines of baby Jesus held up by thousands of Italian children in St Peter’s Square.
The custom of putting up Nativity scenes in the home is a simple and effective way of bringing back the real meaning of Christmas, the Pope said.
The Christmas creche, he said, helps people understand “the secret of the real Christmas, because it illustrates the humility and merciful goodness of Christ, who for our sake ‘became poor although he was rich'”.
He said Christmas brings true joy and peace to those who, like the shepherds at Bethlehem, recognise the sign of “an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger”.
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