Pope calls for 'humble' Christmas, with savings sent to Ukrainian people

Pope calls for 'humble' Christmas, with savings sent to Ukrainian people
© Belga

Pope Francis on Wednesday called on people to "lower their spending" over Christmas to save money and instead send donations to Ukrainians "who are suffering so much."

"Brothers and sisters, I tell you: there is so much suffering in Ukraine. So much. And I would like to draw attention to the upcoming Christmas holidays: it is beautiful to celebrate Christmas," he said at his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

"Let's make a more humble Christmas, with more humble gifts. Let's send what we save to the Ukrainian people who need it: they are suffering so much, they are hungry, cold, so many people are dying because there is no doctors or nurses."

The Pope pleaded the case for the people of Ukraine ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The Vatican has organised humanitarian efforts recently, including delivering thermal clothes to Ukrainians suffering from cold with lower levels of heat and electricity.

"They are hungry, they are cold, so many die for lack of doctors and nurses," said Francis. "Let’s not forget them. Christmas yes, in peace and with the Lord, yes. But with Ukrainians in the heart."

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In a separate move to mark the spreading of goodwill this Christmas, the Vatican confirmed this week that Francis had sent letters to various heads of state around them world requesting them to make a "gesture of clemency" towards eligible prisoners.

According to Francis, such action would demonstrate "an opening to the grace of the Lord in a time marked by tensions, injustices and conflicts."

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