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Merry Christmas!

Reflections on the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, God Incarnate

Last Address of St. P. Pius X on Christmas

Christmas, 1903

With a happy heart we accept, Dear Cardinals, the best wishes, which you also presented to us in the name of the Sacred College, and with gratitude the senses of devotion and love, of which you made yourself an interpreter, with the vow that the restoration in Jesus Christ, through the intercession of the Immaculate Conception, may be the harbinger of less fortunate times for the Church. We also enjoy very much that you mentioned this topic, because the mystery of Bethlehem, which we are about to commemorate, offers the most indisputable proofs of the true Savior; Savior today as nineteen centuries ago, Savior here as in Bethlehem, unique, eternal, universal Savior who renewed the face of the earth, and recomposed every individual and social relationship with God and among men.

The hut of Bethlehem in fact presents us with the perfect man, who by uniting the divine and human nature in one person, restores to him the best part of his privileges lost due to guilt and the consequent fullness of its advantages, so as not to we have other means of being men, as in the spiritual order as well as in society, than to meet the perfect man, to the full extent of the life of Christ: donec occurramus in virum perfectum, in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi. And therefore the whole Christian and social life must only be a continuous study to achieve the beauty of Christ, thus recovering our dignity and bringing back to the world with the original gifts, harmony, harmony and peace of Eden.

Therefore the hut of Bethlehem is a school, whence the divine Redeemer begins his magisterium, not with words, but with works, teaching, that the only means of rehabilitation is the sacrifice in poverty and pain. - The pompous theories, the sensational rallies, the discussion of ardent questions are of no value. To restore everything in Christ, without having to deal with science, without wealth giving you help, and without politics intervening, this lesson is enough; and society walking along this path would be happy in universal contentment and tranquility.

The Bethlelem hut is a school, where if we see a pagan Caesar becoming an unconscious instrument of divine Providence and admirably contributing to the foundation of the Church, no one can doubt that God will not help her to defend and preserve it. - Certainly the evils that afflict him in the present are many and very serious, his enemies (masked or evident) numerous and powerful; the means they have to harm, formidable; but we must not be disheartened, because in the divine promises we have the certainty that God will always reach the intended end, using the same evil, as Augustine says, produced by our free will to the triumph of good.

The hut in Bethlehem is a school, in which it is taught that to restore everything in Christ we must not establish Divine Wisdom neither the time nor the way to come to our aid. For forty centuries Israel waited for the fulfillment of the promise made in Eden, and therefore we must imitate not only the faith of the ancient Patriarchs, but especially that of Mary and Joseph who, although knowing that the son of God was about to be born to life, which Bethlehem, from which they were so far away, was to be his cradle, without anxiety and fears, they await the dispositions of Heaven in peace. - Of course it pains us to see the Church of Jesus Christ persecuted and fiercely fought in its authority, in its doctrines, in its providential mission in the world, and therefore in civil society troubled by internal discord; but when we think of finding ourselves in the valley of tears, of being in a time of trial, that the Church down here is militant and that tribulations send them or God himself allows them, it must be easy for us to imitate Mary and Joseph, who after the quiet expectation, sure to fulfill the divine will, they abandon their little house, embark on a long journey with unspeakable inconvenience, and resignedly tolerate the refusal of the Bethlehemites, who denied them a hospitable hospitalization.

The Bethlehem hut is a school. How fortunate would have been that family, which had hospitalized the poor spouses that night! how many blessings would descend upon it! But there was no place for them: Non erat eis locus in diversorio; and Jesus came to his city and his parents did not receive him; in own venit et sui eum non receperunt. - Poor peoples and poor nations, who not only do not welcome Jesus and his Church, but much worse than the Bethlehemis, they stumble her, persecute her, slander her, and with unforgivable blindness because they see the fate of the poor Bethlehem reserved for them.

The hut of Bethlehem is finally a school, in which if the fulfillment of the divine promises is not revealed to the wise and prudent of the century, but only to the relatives, that is to the simple shepherds, it is not because Jesus wanted to prefer one condition to another. The society of men is the work of God; God himself wanted the diversity of conditions, and Jesus did not come to change this order by calling only the poor, but was born for everyone. So much so that to demonstrate this character of universality he wanted to be born in a public place, whose access could not be prevented by anyone, he wanted to descend from royal blood, so that the principles would not disdain him, he wanted to be born poor, because everyone, without regard , he could go to him, and to do everything to everyone, and nobody was afraid to approach him, he appeared as a child.

The Angel did not manifest the happy news to the citizens of Bethlehem, not only because they had become unworthy of it by refusing to host Mary and Joseph, but because far from going to the cave, they would not have cured the announcement, as they did more late those of Jerusalem at the arrival of the Magi. - And this is what happens even in the present when the Angels of the Church speak, and not a few of the baptized for corruption of the heart, who veils the mind, not only mock and mock them, but deny the most obvious facts, the more manifest truths, more sacred rights, priding themselves in believing nothing. - As now even then there were proud men of mind and corrupt of heart, who although depositari of the divine promises, living near the temple boasted of being part of the chosen people, would not have believed the announcement of the Angel.

So much so that they did not surrender to the truth even then that Jesus restored sight to the blind, the tale to the mute and raised the dead; but after being benefited in a thousand ways, they crucified him; history of pain, which renews many times.

If many therefore, while celebrating, how it is also used to give mundane, with extraordinary joy, and with a greeting! this recurrence, if they did not take advantage of the lessons offered by the mystery of Bethlehem to restore everything in Christ, we place our prayers together, Venerable Brothers, at the cradle of the heavenly Child, so that he may intervene with his grace and everyone will enjoy it. to health. - As for us, trusting in God, sure of the effective and loving contribution of the Sacred College, comforted by the prayers of the whole world, we only ask for the grace to quietly worship in all the provisions of Providence; and expressing our sincere vows to the Sacred College with an open heart for its prosperity, as a pledge of our very special affection we impart to them Cardinals, and to all the others present here the Apostolic Blessing.

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