By Devin Watkins
Following the recitation of the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis prayed for the numerous seafarers who are unable to return home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said there are around 400,000 maritime personnel currently stuck at sea around the world, despite their work contracts not having been renewed.
“I ask the Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, to comfort these persons and all those who are facing difficult situations,” said the Pope, “and I exhort governments to do all in their power to return them to their loved ones.”
Pope Francis also invited everyone to take the time to prepare spiritually for Christmas.
We can do so, he noted, by paying attention to those around us who suffer and by contemplating the Nativity scene.
“The brother who suffers, wherever he may be, is one of us. He is Jesus in the manger: the one who suffers is Jesus.,” said the Pope. “There, in the brother in need, is the Nativity to which we must go in solidarity.”
100 Nativity Scenes exhibition
He also invited pilgrims in Rome to visit the “100 Nativity Scenes” exhibition, which has been placed this year under the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square.
“I invite you to visit the Nativity scenes under the colonnade, in order to understand how people seek through art to show how Jesus was born,” he said. “The crèches under the colonnade are a great catechesis in our faith.”
The Vatican's exhibition of "100 Nativity Scenes" is open daily from 10AM to 8PM under the colonnade in St. Peter's Square.
Visitors can behold the exhibition from 13 December until 10 January 2021.