VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2008 (Zenit.org).- In the midst of secular images of Christmas, Benedict XVI is encouraging the faithful to put a Nativity scene in their homes. The Pope made this invitation today in St. Peter's Square, when he blessed images of the Child Jesus brought by children to the plaza for the papal blessing. The statues will later be placed in their manger scenes.
The Holy Father led the children in a prayer, which said: "We pray to you, that with your blessing these images of Jesus, who is about to come among us, be, in our houses, a sign of your presence and your love. [...] "Open our heart, so that we know how to receive Jesus with joy, do always what he asks and see him in all those who need our love."
He concluded by expressing the prayer that with the intercession of Mary, "Jesus, who in his birth brings God's benediction to men, [will] be welcomed with love in all the homes of Rome and the world. (Photo is from the blog's collection).