Christians around the world gathered to watch Pope Francis as he led the Christmas Eve mass in St Peter’s Basilica.
During the procession, Pope told believers that God loves everyone irrespective of who they are. The choir at St Peter’s sang the popular Christmas hymn, The First Noel, Daily Mail reports.
The Pope also unveiled a new statue of baby Jesus in a nativity scene at the foot of the altar, as he told everyone that the birth of Jesus is a reminder that Christ loves all.
“God does not love you because you think and act the right way. You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you,” he said.
Pope Francis also asked the faithful to stop trying to change others as they allow themselves to be transformed by Jesus.
“May we not wait for our neighbors to be good before we do good to them, for the church to be perfect before we love her, for others to respect us before we serve them. Let us begin with ourselves,” he said.
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The mass will be marking the beginning of a busy schedule for Pope as he will also give a Christmas speech, head a New Year’s Eve vigil, and January 1 mass.