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The Holy Family came to live in our problems, says Pope

POPE FRANCIS ANGELUS December 31 2023

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/31/23

The Holy Father also prayed for suffering Nigeria, after some 160 were killed on Christmas Eve.
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“Unfortunately, the celebration of Christmas in Nigeria was marked by serious violence in the State of Plateau, with many victims. I am praying for them and their families. May God free Nigeria from these atrocities!”

Thus Pope Francis prayed for the situation in Nigeria, which endured another spate of attacks on Christmas.

The Holy Father added:

And I am also praying for all those who lost their lives in the explosion of the tanker truck in Liberia.

Let us continue to pray for the people who are suffering because of war: the beleaguered people of Ukraine, the people of Palestine and Israel, the people of Sudan and many others.

At the end of a year, let us have the courage to ask ourselves: How many human lives have been broken by armed conflict? How many dead? And how much destruction, suffering, poverty? May those who have interests in these conflicts listen to the voice of their conscience. And let us not forget the suffering Rohingya!

During his reflection on today’s feast, the Pope had noted how the Holy Family accompanies us in our sorrows.

What does this tell our families, the way the Holy Family lived their life, poor, facing obstacles, with such sorrow? It tells us something very beautiful: God, whom we often imagine to be beyond problems, came to live our life with its problems. He saved us in this way. He did not come already an adult, but really little. As the son of a mother and father, he lived in a family where he spent most of his time growing, learning — an everyday life, in hiddenness and silence.

And he did not avoid difficulties. Rather, in choosing a family, a family that was “expert in suffering,” he says this to our families: “If you are facing difficulties, I know what you are experiencing. I experienced it. I, my mother and my father, we experienced it so we can say to your family too: You are not alone!”

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Pope Francis
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