Pope Francis Warns "Do not repeat the clichés of a false and sugary Christmas, which has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and its meaning for humanity today." FULL TEXT

Hall of the Consistory
Friday, October 14, 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!
I thank Cardinal Tolentino for presenting this initiative, which has the merit of giving a voice to young people, enhancing their creativity. For this I am grateful to the Gravissimum Educationis Foundation, which animates this network and which proposed the Christmas Contest, and the Ausilia Association, which works to multiply the opportunities of young people and has decided to support this project. And also this year I am pleased to meet you, young singers and musicians, who have decided to participate in the Competition. Inspired by the event of Christmas, it intends to promote the values ​​of life, love and peace.
I turn to you young artists. I don't know if I can afford to give you advice, can I? All right. Don't try to copy the big "stars" of the show. Don't follow the fashions and patterns of success. Do not repeat the clichés of a false and sugary Christmas, which has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and its meaning for humanity today. Instead, don't be afraid to be yourself. Will they criticize you? Yes, but be yourself, original, creative. Your personality in art. And above all, make sure that the basis of your works is amazement. We have lost the sense of amazement, and we must take it back. That at the base there is amazement, amazement in the face of the unthinkable: a God who becomes flesh, who becomes a helpless child, born of a Virgin, in a cave, and who had a manger for animals as a cradle. The amazement. If you do not feel the astonishment, the song does not speak to the heart, it does not communicate ...
Besides the amazement, another indispensable ingredient is simplicity. Attention: simplicity, not banality! No. Simplicity is another thing entirely. The Nativity scene is simple, but it is not trivial. The songs of St. Alphonsus, such as "Tu come down from the stars", are simple, but beautiful and full of meaning, and continue to make us move and nourish the faith of the people of God. And this is not sentimentality, this is more, it is what comes from within, it is authentic.
With this creative style of wonder and simplicity, you can make your contribution to the cause of peace, which is the great gift that God wanted to give to the world with the birth of his Son. In recent months the roar of war has been growing in Europe and in the world. Let's not give in to this blackmail, please! Let's not fall into this trap! We continue to dream of peace and to work for peace, sowing seeds of fraternity and social friendship. The outstretched hand, always the outstretched hand! You do this with music, and it is very precious, because music is a universal language, which crosses borders and barriers. Music also has inestimable educational value. I emphasize this because this initiative is promoted by the Pontifical Foundation which is inspired by the conciliar document on education. Music humanizes, and educating essentially means humanizing. How much we need today to become more human! For this, after all, God became man, to share this path with us.
Dear friends, I wish you all the best for this competition and for your artistic journey. I bless you all, with your families, and I ask you to pray for me. And if any of you can't pray or don't know how to pray, at least send me good waves, which I need. Thank you.