Wishing you all a joy-filled Christmas!
“Gloria in excelsis Deo” – King’s College Choir:
Please keep our troops in your prayers. In Afghanistan, our soldiers are hard at work:
”This is my third Christmas away from family, the first two were in Iraq and then one here,” Sgt. David Nix, from Charlotte, North Carlina, said, adding that he misses waking up on Christmas morning with his wife and kids. ”It’s the only thing that goes through my mind … being around my family,” he said.
“A Soldier’s Christmas Poem,” written by LCDR Jeff Giles, CS, USN, stationed in Al Taqqadum Iraq:
A Christmas video from the soldiers of the Dragon Brigade:
Here’s a look at the plight of Christians in Iraq.
Pope Benedict XVI recovered from the bizarre attack yesterday well enough to deliver Christmas Day mass this morning.
Lombardi identified the woman who toppled Benedict as Susanna Maiolo, 25, a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric problems. He said Maiolo, who was not armed, was taken to a clinic for necessary treatment.
She was the same woman involved in a similar incident at last year’s Midnight Mass, Vatican officials said. In that case, Maiolo jumped the barricade but never managed to reach the pope and was quietly tackled by security.
In both cases she wore a red sweat shirt.
During Thursday night’s service, Maiolo jumped the barricade and lunged for the pope as he processed down the aisle toward the altar. As security guards brought her down, she grabbed Benedict’s vestments and pulled him down with her, according to witness video obtained by The Associated Press.
After a few seconds on the floor, Benedict stood up with the help of attendants, put back on his miter and took hold of his staff, and continued to process down the aisle to the cheers of “Viva il Papa!” (“Long live the pope”). He continued to celebrate the Mass without incident.
It was the first time a potential attacker came into direct contact with Benedict during his nearly five-year papacy. Security analysts have frequently warned the pope is too exposed in his public appearances.
After getting up, Benedict, flanked by tense bodyguards, reached the basilica’s main altar to start the Mass. The pope, who broke his right wrist in a fall this summer, appeared unharmed but somewhat shaken and leaned heavily on aides and an armrest as he sat down in his chair.
Benedict made no reference to the disturbance after the service started or on Friday.