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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pope's Christmas Greeting Echoes Augustine

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2005 ( For his first Christmas greeting, Benedict XVI has chosen an exhortation by St. Augustine. In a handwritten message, the Pope writes in Latin, "Expergiscere, homo: quia pro te Deus factus est homo" -- Awaken, o man, because God has become man for you. The passage chosen by the Pope comes from Sermon 185, "In Natali Domini" (On the Nativity of the Lord) of the bishop of Hippo (354-430). The image chosen for the Holy Father's Christmas card is the "Adoration of the Magi" painted by an unknown artist. The painting is kept in the St. Lawrence Chapel in the Vatican. A copy of the papal greeting is posted at

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