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Nativity Greetings from Patriarch IGNATIUS IV

Christmas is an opportunity to revive our faith in the One who was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. Jesus was born of a virgin to save the world from sin and to lead it towards salvation. God, in the Christmas message, sent His only Son to show us that human nature is neither evil nor transient. For, as God took on human nature, that nature has become noble, and we humans, the carriers of His image, became thereby noble, and touched by the holiness that comes from above.

Christmas means God came to us and for us. Accordingly, we should be ready to do God's will. On this day we beseech the Almighty to open our eyes to see our brethren, and appreciate that the God who created us is the God who created them; they have the right to exist as we do. Otherwise, our faith will be at fault. At Christmas we look at our world and ask God to have mercy on us and grant us His Grace. There are people who are dying here and there; there are millions who are displaced. May the Good Lord give them solace and peace.

I pray to the Child born in a cave in Bethlehem to forgive our sins and look upon you and upon us with His infInite love and boundless mercy.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East