reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Friday, January 6, 2023
Pope Francis wishes Merry Christmas to the Ukraine, all other Eastern-rite Catholics and Orthodox Christians
Pope prays for Ukraine as Eastern Churches celebrate Christmas
Pope Francis renews his prayers for peace in war-torn Ukraine, and sends his well-wishes to Eastern-rite Catholics and Orthodox Christians as they prepare to celebrate Christmas on Saturday.
By Devin Watkins
As Christian Churches which follow the Julian calendar prepare to celebrate Christmas on 7 January, Pope Francis expressed his well-wishes to Eastern-rite Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
“In a special way,” he said at the Angelus prayer on Friday, “I would like to send greetings to our brothers and sisters of martyred Ukrainian people.”
Over 65 percent of Ukrainians profess Orthodoxy and another 9 percent belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, according to a 2018 survey by the Razumkov Centre.
The Pope added his hopes that the celebration of the birth of the Lord might encourage steps toward peace.
“May the birth of the Saviour bring comfort and hope, and inspire concrete steps that may finally lead to an end to the fighting and to peace. May we pray often for Ukraine and for peace.”
World Day of Missionary Childhood
Meanwhile, Pope Francis also noted that the feast of the Epiphany also marks World Day of Missionary Childhood.
The Church on this day recognizes that children are agents of evangelization in their own unique way, and should be accorded the dignity they deserve to serve the Church as witness of the Gospel.
“I greet all the boys and girls in every part of the world who spread the joy of being friends of Jesus and commit themselves through prayer, sacrifices, and offerings to support the missionaries of the Gospel.”