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The traditional Papal blessing in St Peters Square of the "Baby Jesus",  the statues of the Infant Jesus, which are brought by the children of Rome to be placed in their cribs

Blessing of the ‘Baby Jesus’ of Christmas cribs

“The crib is a school of life where we can learn the secret of true joy,” which doesn’t mean having many things, but signifies being loved by God, by giving to others for others and love one another.

These were the Popes words before the Angelus prayer, on the third Sunday of Advent in St Peters Square, where he performed the traditional blessing of the “Baby Jesus”, the statues of the Infant Jesus, which are brought by the children of Rome to be place in their cribs.

In the crib, said Pope Benedict, we see that Mary and Joseph, having had their first child in the midst of great distress, “are filled with deep joy, love, help and above all are certain that God is at work “

Holy Father mourns slain missionaries

In the public address given by the Pope today before he prayed the midday Angelus, he stated, “This week I received sad news from certain countries in Africa about the murder of four missionaries: the priests, Father Daniel Cizimya, Father Louis Blondel and Father Jerry Roche, and Sister Denise Kahambu.”

Father Daniel Cizimya Nakamaga, 51, was shot in the head on Dec. 6 when gunmen stormed his home in Kabare, near Bukavu, Congo. Two days after the priest’s murder, Sister Denise Kahambu was killed in near the same city in a separate attack on a Trappist monastery.

French Father Louis Blondel, 70, of the Missionaries of Africa was shot in his presbytery in Diepsloot, South Africa, also on Dec. 6.

Irish Father Jeremiah Roche, 68, was killed Friday night in his Kericho, Kenya, home.

The Pontiff said, “They were faithful witnesses of the Gospel, which they knew how to proclaim, even at the risk of their own lives.”

He expressed his “nearness to their families and communities, who are grieving,” and invited all “to join in my prayer that the Lord welcome them into his house, console those who weep for them and bring them reconciliation and peace with his coming.”