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December 19, 2008


Below is Cardinal Justin Rigali's Christmas Letter to be communicated to the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on December 20th and 21st. Please feel free to quote from the letter or to print it in its entirety.

Christmas 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your families as we celebrate His birth!

The words of the humble shepherds proclaimed to us this Christmas Day remind us of the centrality of the birth of our Savior in history and the importance of our celebration of this awesome event: "Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known" (Luke 2:15).

God the Father reveals His plan to the shepherds and they go to see this wondrous event that has taken place. God speaks to the shepherds and these humble men make known the message that has been told them about the child.

The great event of Christ's birth evoked a response from the shepherds, it changed them. After our days of Advent preparation, the shepherds show us the manner in which we are to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. Our celebration of the Lord's birth calls us to deepen our faith in God's tremendous love and to share with others what has been so freely and generously given to us: the very Son of God who has emptied Himself for our salvation.

May the Lord Jesus continue to bless you and your families and may Mary our Mother watch over you now and always.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archbishop of Philadelphia

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Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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