In the year, from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five, thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine; from the flood, two thousand, nine hundred and fifty-seven; from the birth of Abraham, two thousand and fifteen; from Moses and the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt, one thousand, five hundred and ten; from the anointing of King David, one thousand and thirty-two; in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; in the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome; in the forty-second year of the empire of Octavian Augustus, when the whole earth was at peace, in the sixth age of the world, Jesus Christ, eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, desirous to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having elapsed since his conception, is born in Bethlehem of Juda, having become man of the Virgin Mary. (Roman Martyrology)

Pope Francis has urged Roman Catholics not to ignore the plight of millions of migrants “driven from their land”, during Christmas Eve Mass.

The pontiff compared them to Mary and Joseph, recounting the Biblical story of how they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem but found no place to stay.

Many migrants, he said, were being forced to flee from leaders who “see no problem in shedding innocent blood”.

He has made defence of migrants around the world a major theme of his papacy. (BBC)

Wearing white vestments in the flower-bedecked church, Francis called for a “new social imagination … in which none have to feel that there is no room for them on this earth.” (HuffPost)

Merry Christmas