Pope Benedict XVI delivered his Christmas message at a midnight mass at the Vatican on Saturday.
The 84-year-old is celebrating his seventh Christmas season of his pontificate.
Addressing worshippers in St Peter’s Basilica, he said Christians should shun the commercialism that has long been associated with the holiday season.
“Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God’s humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity.”
In Bethelem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas joined Christians in celebrating at the Church of the Nativity.
The church is built upon the site where, according to tradition, a manger once stood where Jesus Christ was born.
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