Pope Francis gave a solemn homily while celebrating Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican late Saturday evening. Decrying violence and materialism, he spoke to a full St. Peter's Basilica of children who "suffer the squalid mangers that devour dignity" because no one is willing to help them.
"Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by the children who are not allowed to be born, by those who cry because no one satiates their hunger, by those who do have not toys in their hands, but rather weapons," Francis charged, mourning children "hiding underground to escape bombardment, on the pavements of a large city, at the bottom of a boat overladen with immigrants."
The pope urged sacrificial compassion for the downtrodden, exhorting his listeners to ensure this is not a Christmas "when we are concerned for gifts but cold toward those who are marginalized." On Sunday, he will give the Urbi et Orbi ("to the city and the world") blessing at noon.