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Pope receives Christmas tree during general audience

Pope John Paul II received a Christmas tree from the Archbishop and faithful of the autonomous Italian province of Trento yesterday during his weekly General Audience in which he said that the long-awaited for Messiah is the source of hope for the poor and oppressed.

"Thank you", the pope responded. "Thank you especially to those who made possible this Christmas gift which will remind visitors and pilgrims of the birth of Christ, light of the world." The tree will be placed in St. Peter's Square.

John Paul II went on to speak about the Psalm 71 which speaks of the messiah's sense of justice and love for the poor. He called on them to find in him a source of hope.

The Pope said that "'life' and 'blood' are the basic reality of the person and the representation of the rights and dignity of every human being, rights that are often violated by those in power in this world."

The Pope indicated that "humanity, putting aside and eliminating all divisions, will set out toward this sovereign of justice, fulfilling in this way the great promise made by the Lord to Abraham: 'And in him, shall every tribe of the earth be blessed'."

"The Christian tradition," he concluded, "has seen in this image of the Messiah and King a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Virgin Mary, the long-awaited Savior."

Pope receives Christmas tree during general audience (Catholic News Agency 15/12/04)

The Offical Vatican Website

Pope Invites Students to Discover Whole Truth in Christ (Catholic Online 14/12/04)

15 Dec 2004