Christmas in UAE: Pray for world peace, Bishop Martinelli tells community

Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia delivers his first X'mas message after assuming office in July


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 24 Dec 2022, 5:38 PM

Last updated: Sat 24 Dec 2022, 7:25 PM

This Christmas, the Christian community must spread the message of peace, love and joy, Bishop Paolo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, said in Abu Dhabi.

“After the long, painful period of the pandemic marked by many restrictions we can now once again come together to pray. Let us meet again with great joy,” Bishop Martinelli said in his first Christmas message after assuming office in July.

St Joseph’s Cathedral Abu Dhabi, the seat of the Bishop, will be holding more than 20 masses in 12 languages on Sunday.

Describing Jesus Christ as the “prince of peace”, Bishop Martinelli hoped for peace in the world.

“Let us bring peace to all. Let us start with the closest people. Let us start with our families, and our communities. We cannot be promoters of peace if we do not begin with ourselves.”

Bishop Martinelli urged Christian expats to celebrate Christmas as one family.

“Let us not remain closed to ourselves but to go out towards others and celebrate Christmas in our families, in our community, as one family.”

Bishop Martinelli reminded the community to pray for those suffering across the world.

“We know how worrying the situation is in the world. There are so many wars and conflicts that cause death and suffering, especially for the little ones. Let us not forget Yemen, that's part of our Apostolic Vicariate, where a lasting peace has not yet been achieved for many years,” said Bishop Martinelli, who is the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia (the Catholic churches in UAE, Oman and Yemen).

“As we celebrate Christmas, let us not forget all those who are in tribulation. We pray for them. We express our closeness to those in need.”

On a personal note, Bishop Martinelli, who succeeded Bishop Paul Hinder and took charge in July this year, said: “I arrived a few months ago, and everything here is still so new. Sometimes, I feel like a child faced with things never seen before and feel profound amazement for all that I see.”

Thousands of Christian expats will take part in the Christmas Eve masses held at the cathedral and other churches around the UAE.


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