ROME — Pope Francis is urging Christians to spend less on Christmas this year and to send the savings to the people of Ukraine.
“There is so much suffering in Ukraine, so much, so much!” the pontiff told the crowds gathered in the Vatican for his weekly General Audience Wednesday.
“I would like to draw some attention to the coming Christmas, even the parties,” he said. “It’s nice to celebrate Christmas, to have parties… but let’s lower the level of Christmas spending a bit.”
The pope went on to suggest that the money saved on the more commercial side to Christmas could be redirected to the suffering people of Ukraine.
“Let’s have a humbler Christmas, with more humble gifts,” he proposed. “We send what we save to the Ukrainian people, who are in need, who suffer so much.”
“They are hungry, they feel the cold and many die because there are no doctors or nurses at hand,” he said.
“Let us not forget: a Christmas, yes; at peace with the Lord, yes, but with Ukrainians in our hearts. And let’s make that concrete gesture for them,” he concluded.