Christmas 2005

THEODOROS II,

BY THE GRACE OF GOD, POPE AND PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA, TO THE FAITHFUL OF THE APOSTOLIC AND PATRIARCHAL THRONE OF ALEXANDRIA – GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE THROUGH THE LORD AND GOD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, BORN IN BETHLEHEM AND WHO FULFILLED THE DIVINE ECONOMY

A great and wondrous miracle is accomplished today. A Virgin gives birth and the womb is not corrupted”.


Beloved brethren in Christ and blessed children in the Lord,The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ brought forth, and spread throughout the world, the gifts of divine love, compassion, remission, peace, rebirth, love, joy and universal brotherhood. This is why the small infant, born in Bethlehem, was shown to be the Saviour of humankind, the “Emmanuel” or “God is with us”.


This love, receiving substance in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, is what we have celebrated the past two thousand years. We have, however, celebrated this love amidst piles of weapons, violence, terrorism, anxiety, misfortune and the misery of nations. We have celebrated this love amidst poverty, hunger, immortality and false ideologies. In this world-wide labyrinth of darkness and evil, our gaze and our thoughts rest on our own corner of the earth, our long-suffering continent of Africa, that endures more hardships than other parts of the planet. Our gaze rests on her hungry children, the illiterate, the orphans, the sick, the refugees. Our gaze rests on those that, more than anyone else, need someone to show them the Star of Bethlehem. This ‘someone’ is each one of us that knows that the bright star that led the wise men to the Divine Infant even today leads and enlightens the soul of every person that puts on Christ and renounces Satan.


Beloved brethren and blessed children of the Lord, we have to share the gift of God’s love, given to us with his Birth in Bethlehem, with all our brothers and sisters – African, Greek and Arab. This obligation is carried out in the mission work of our Patriarchate throughout Africa. It bears fruit in the daily labours that have persisted over the past decades. It is to these bishops, priests, deacons, monasteries, professional, doctors and teachers that I express my gratitude. Let each one of us place himself or herself within these ranks. Let us extend a hand to our suffering fellow human – that lives in a hut in the savannah, that drinks unclean water, that falls ill and dies young because of lack of medical care, that remains illiterate because there are no schools, that suffers from hunger, that hopes and searches for the God of love and peace. We are called upon, through our moral and material assistance, to make this God known to all. This contribution of ours will be our own gift to the Divine Infant. Let us place our own gifts – our compassion towards our fellow man, our love towards our brethren, peace between nations – next to the gifts of the wise men.

My beloved and blessed children,my thoughts are with you all and I pray, from the depths of my heart, that the Incarnate Word of God grants all of you health and the fulfilment of every desire that is pleasing to God. May the new year of His goodness and abundance be blessed, peaceful and productive.

THEODOROS II POPE AND PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA

IN THE GREAT CITY OF ALEXANDRIA  CRISTMAS 2005