‘Our document of citizenship comes from God’
St. Peter’s Basilica: While comparing immigrants to Marry and Joseph, Pope Francis strongly defended them at his Christmas Eve Mass saying faith demands that foreigners be welcomed.
Pope Francis said, “Our document of citizenship” comes from God, making respect of migrants an integral part of Christianity
The Gospel reading at the Mass in Christendom’s largest church recounted the Biblical story of how Mary and Jesus had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be registered for a census ordered by Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus.
“So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away, but driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones,” Pope Francis said.
Even the shepherds who the Bible says were the first to see the child Jesus were “forced to live on the edges of society” and considered dirty, smelly foreigners, he added.
The Pope also condemned human traffickers who make money off desperate refugees as hundreds of people have died trying to make the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean to Europe in the past four years.