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Pope Francis Leads Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican

Image: VATICAN-CHRISTMAS-POPE-ITALY
Pope Francis leads a Christmas Eve mass at St Peter's Basilica to mark the nativity of Jesus Christ, on Dec. 24, at the Vatican. ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP - Getty Images

Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday, after placing a phone call to Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants. Francis told refugees at the tent camp in Ankawa, a suburb of Irbil in northern Iraq, that they were like Jesus, forced to flee because there was no place for them. For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem barn manger, chosen because there was no room for his parents at an inn.