.- Following the praying of the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the especially difficult circumstances which face the many refugees fleeing Iraq.
The Pope that during this Advent season he had been thinking about "the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria forced to leave their country because of the dramatic situation there.”
The Holy Father noted the work already being done by the Catholic aid organization, Caritas, but added, “Nonetheless, I appeal to the sensibility of individuals, international organizations and governments, to make further efforts to meet these people's most urgent needs.”
“I raise my prayers to the Lord, that He may bring comfort to these brothers and sisters, and move many hearts to generosity," the Pope said.
Pope Benedict’s comments came just after he delivered the customary Papal blessing upon the figures of the Child Jesus, brought to St. Peter's Square by children of Rome in the company of their parents and teachers. The children traditionally bring the figures for blessing before placing them in nativity scenes in their own homes and parishes.
After thanking the Roman Oratory Center for having organized this year’s blessing, the Holy Father wished the children happiness for the upcoming Christmas season and told the them, "Pray to Jesus before the nativity scene, and ask Him also for the Pope's intentions."