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Pope prays for homeless in last pre-Christmas Angelus

Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 00:52

Dec. 22 - Pope Francis conducts appeals to all authorities to do more for homeless families in last Angelus Prayer before Christmas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Taking his last Angelus Prayer before Christmas, Pope Francis on Sunday asked for the thoughts of people around the world to focus on the homeless during the cold, festive period, encouraging authorities to do more to help families without homes. A typically off-the-cuff Francis addressed the hundreds gathered in St Peter's Square in the Vatican waving Italian flags and cheering, and chose this prayer to focus on the less fortunate during one of the most important time of the Christian year. Referring to a banner being held up in the square by some people in the crowd which read "the poor cannot wait", Francis said there were many who needed more help. "In these days of Christmas, I invite all - every person, every social organization, the authorities - to do everything possible to ensure that every family can have a home," the Pope told listeners. Francis has proven to be hugely popular because of his statements urging the Church to be closer to the poor and to be more merciful and less condemning. The crowds at Francis' general audiences have often topped 100,000, forcing police to close off the main boulevard leading to the Vatican to accommodate more people. "I wish everyone a good Sunday and a Christmas of hope, of justice and of brotherhood," he added. Like much of the Christian world, Pope Francis has a hectic Christmas holiday season planned, with the highlight being the Christmas Eve Mass in the Papal Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica - the first time for Francis, who became pope in March. At noon on Christmas Day, Francis will deliver his Christmas message as well as the special "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and world) blessing given by the pope on such significant occasions as Easter and Christmas. On New Year's Eve is the celebration of the first Vespers and the traditional signing of the Te Deum for the feast of the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God. On the morning of January 1, Francis will celebrate Mass and speak on the theme of the Church's 47th annual World Day of Peace, "Fraternity: the foundation and path for peace". The cycle of the Christmas liturgies will conclude on January 6 with Mass celebrating the feast of the Epiphany, marking the baptism of Jesus, as well as a baptism of newborns in the Sistine Chapel.

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Pope prays for homeless in last pre-Christmas Angelus

Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 00:52