Pope Paul the Sixth, the leader of the Roman Catholic world, celebrated Christmas Mass at St.
Pope Paul the Sixth, the leader of the Roman Catholic world, celebrated Christmas Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City and ceremoniously closed the Catholic Holy Year.
About 100,000 braved freezing conditions to attend the open air Mass.
To mark the end of the 25th Holy Year celebrations the 78-year-old Pontiff ceremoniously closed the bronze holy door of St. Peter's Basilica. During 1975 an estimated 8 million pilgrims flocked to Rome to take part in the jubilee. The holy door of St. Peter's will now remain sealed until the next Holy Year in 2,000 A.D.
The ceremony was televised live to nearly 50 countries with a potential audience of 300 million people.
In his Christmas message to the world's 650 million Catholics the Pope said that the overwhelming uproar of modern life tended to stifle the word of God but he was gratified to see youth turning back to religion. He said it was consoling that some people were listening to the message of revelation and renewal.
SYNOPSIS: The twenty-fifth Holy Year of the Roman Catholic Church officially closed on Christmas Eve as Pope Paul the Sixth symbolically closed the Holy bronze doors to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.
For the first time the Pope celebrated the Christmas Midnight mass in the open air. About a hundred thousand people braved freezing conditions to take part in the Mass at St. Peter's Square.
In his Christmas message the Pope said he found it consoling that people were still listening to the message of revelation and renewal in the overwhelming uproar of modern life.
The Pope's message and the mass were televised live to fifty countries throughout the world.
During the Holy Year more than eight million Catholics visited the Vatican City. The next Holy Year will be in two thousand A.D.