Christmas Wishes to the Children of the World

“Raise your tiny hand, Divine Child, and bless these young friends of yours; bless the children of all the earth.” (Pope St. John Paul II, 1994)

Pieter Fransz. de Grebber, “Adoration of the Shepherds,” 1633
Pieter Fransz. de Grebber, “Adoration of the Shepherds,” 1633 (photo: Public Domain)

Christmastime has entered the hearts of our little friends around the world. This holy season is a unique moment for all children. It is a special time not only because families celebrate it, stars shine, carols resound and stockings bulge full of gifts, but primarily because the Child was born. It is his birthday we are celebrating. Let us not forget that.

More than 2,000 years ago the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. He said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:28-33).

Christus natus est nobis! Christ is born in Bethlehem for all people in this world during the Holy Night. “What joy is greater than the joy brought by love? What joy is greater than the joy which you, O Jesus, bring at Christmas to people's hearts, and especially to the hearts of children?” John Paul II asked in his message to children in the year of the family.

The bright star of Bethlehem, the Divine Baby in the hay, and the Holy Family — let us rejoice about what happened in Palestine. How beautiful and moving this moment is when we remember how the prophesied Child came into the world on that Holy Night! The birth of our Lord and Savior changed our history forever.

A newborn child represents joy, love and hope for his parents, Church and society. This newborn Child, which we see in the crib now, once he is grown up and becomes a teacher of Truth. His divine words fill our hearts with hope, love and faith. He will say to the Apostles, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” and he will explain, “for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Finally, Jesus admonishes us, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

What does it mean “unless you turn and become like children?” John Paul II explains, “people who are destined to go to heaven are simple like children, and like children are full of trust, rich in goodness and pure. Only people of this sort can find in God Father and, thanks to Jesus, can become in their own turn children of God.”

Therefore, it is so important for those little friends of God to know the truth about the history of his birth and the story of the Holy Family. The children have to “look with faith upon the newborn Child and experience the great joy of Christmas.” Why? Because God loves them. God means love. And people cannot live without love. As John Paul II exclaims: “They are called to love God and their neighbor; but in order to love properly they must be certain that God loves them … God loves you, dear children! This is what I want to tell you…”

Dear ones, may your pure love embrace your parents, siblings and other members of your families during this holiday season. May the love of your family last forever. May your love spread to the whole world. May your loving kindness, warm hearts, tolerance and harmony bring good to this world. May the joy of Christmas and the peace which the birth of Jesus brings onto us be in your little hearts forever.

At the end of the Christmas wishes to the children, let me recall the words of a Psalm: “Laudate pueri Dominum! Praise, O children of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting may the name of the Lord be praised!” (Psalm 112/113:1-3)

Young friends, from the East to the West, and from the North to the South, Praise the name of the Lord! Always and forever. He was born for us. That is the mystery and joy of Christmas.

Merry Christmas! Love and Peace.