Pope Francis blesses Ilaria Sambucci, a pregnant intern with Vatican News Pope Francis blesses Ilaria Sambucci, a pregnant intern with Vatican News 

Pope to Vatican employees: Always confide in the Lord and build peace

Pope Francis greets Vatican employees and their families in the Paul VI Audience Hall for the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings, and urges them to build peace in their homes and workplaces.

By Lisa Zengarini

Addressing Vatican employees with their families during his annual Christmas greetings on Thursday, Pope Francis encouraged them to face the difficulties of life with faith, and to be artisans of peace starting from their own family and workplaces within the Holy See.

Gratitude for having survived the pandemic

The Pope started his speech, delivered in the Paul VI Audience Hall, by remarking that we should all show gratefulness to God because, with His help, we have overcome the critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that as soon as things improve, we tend to forget to even thank the Lord. “This is not Christian and not even human,” he said. 

Pope Francis noted that, although this critical phase has passed, the pandemic has left its marks: not only in material and economic terms, but also on people's lives and relationships.

He, therefore, wished all families first of all "serenity" which, he said, "does not mean that all is well", but peace of mind in facing problems or difficulties.

Serenity is given to us by confiding in God's help

The Pope remarked that this serenity is given to us by our faith in God and by entrusting ourselves to His help, as Mary and Joseph did when giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem.

“I wish you this: that each one of you has faith in God and that in families there is the simplicity of entrusting themselves to His help, to pray to Him and to thank Him.”

The Pope wished peace of mind, especially for children and young people who have been particularly affected by the closures and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 crisis.

Be witnesses and artisans of peace

A second wish Pope Francis expressed was that we all may be “witnesses and artisans of peace”.

“At this moment in the history of the world, we are called to feel more strongly the responsibility of each one doing his or her part to build peace,” he said, noting that this responsibility is particularly relevant for those who work for the Holy See. 

No gossip

The Pope then called upon Vatican employees to be builders of peace starting from their own families and from the environment in which they live and work.

One way of doing so is avoiding gossip, and speaking "behind people’s backs". If there is something wrong, he said, we should instead be “honest and sincere”.

Listen to our report

A special caress to children and the elderly

Concluding, Pope Francis thanked the employees for their precious work in the Vatican, and asked them to bring his "caress" in particular to their children and to elderly parents or relations at home, remarking that they are “the treasure of the family and of society".

“I thank you for everything you do here, for your work and also for your patience, sometimes, because I know there are situations in which you exercise patience. All of us must go forward with patience, with joy, thanking the Lord for giving us this grace of work.”

22 December 2022, 12:08