.- During a meeting held with the university students of Rome Thursday afternoon, Pope Benedict XVI recalled that Christmas is, above all else, the celebration of the greatest gift God has given to mankind, the gift of Himself.
The students met with the Holy Father following their traditional Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome.
"Christmas gifts remind us of the most perfect gift that the Son of God gave us of himself in the Incarnation,” Pope Benedict told the youth. “Christmas is the day in which God has given himself to human persons and this gift is made perfect, so to speak, in the Eucharist."
"The Eucharistic mystery," he continued "constitutes the privileged point of convergence between the various spheres of Christian existence, including that of intellectual pursuit. (...) The Eucharist nourishes a fruitful unity between contemplation and action in us so that we are regularly sustained with faith."
Making reference to the immanent arrival of Christmas, the Pope indicated that "in the grotto of Bethlehem we adore the same Lord who wanted to make himself our spiritual nourishment in the Eucharistic sacrament, in order to transform the world from within beginning from the human heart."
The Virgin Mary was the "first to contemplate the incarnate Word, Divine Wisdom, made human. In the Christ Child (...) she recognized God's human face in such a way that the mysterious Wisdom of the Son was impressed on the Mother's mind and heart," the Pope said.
"This is why," he concluded, "Mary was transformed in the "Seat of Wisdom" and is particularly venerated with this title by the Roman academic community. There is a special icon dedicated to the "Sedes Sapientiae" that, starting from Rome, has already visited various countries, making a pilgrimage through the universities. It is present here today in order to be given to the delegation from Bulgaria and Albania."