Don Bosco

Audience with the Holy Father, Pope Francis 2017

Greetings from the Holy Father, Francis, to artists and organisers pof the 2017 Christmas Concert

Clementine Hall Friday 15 December 2017

[Multimedia]

Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you to this meeting, which allows me to express my appreciation for your participation in the “Christmas in the Vatican” concert, the proceeds of which will be donated to finance two projects for the children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and for young people in Argentina. I greet and thank the promoters of the event and those who will perform tomorrow night, as well as those who will take part, thus expressing sensitivity to the needs of the most disadvantaged and in need who ask for help and solidarity.

Christmas, as we know, is a feast that is keenly felt and participated in, able to warm the coldest of hearts, to remove the barriers of indifference towards others, to encourage openness to the other and to giving freely. This is why today we need to spread the message of peace and fraternity proper to Christmas; we need to represent this event by expressing the authentic sentiments that animate it. And art is a formidable means of opening the doors of the mind and heart to the true meaning of Christmas. The creativity and genius of the artists, with their works, also with music and song, manage to reach the most intimate levels of the conscience. Art enters precisely in the depths of consciousness.

I offer my best wishes that the Christmas Concert in the Vatican may be an opportunity to sow tenderness – this word which is so forgotten today! “Violence”, “war” ... no, no, tenderness – to sow tenderness, peace and acceptance welcome, which spring from the stable in Bethlehem. I reiterate my gratitude to each one of you and, as I offer a cordial greeting for serene Christmas holidays, full of joy and peace, I bless each one of you, your families and your loved ones.

And please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you!