"Just as the Sun's light and the warmth are a blessing for the Earth, so the light of God is a blessing for humanity, when He makes his face shine on it. This happened with the birth of Jesus Christ," the Pope said.
"God has made his face shine on us: at the beginning in a very humble, hidden way - in Bethlehem, only Mary and Joseph and some shepherds were witnesses to this revelation - but little by little, like the sun that rises from dawn until noon, the light of Christ has grown and spread everywhere."
The day also coincides with the World Day of Peace. The 85 year old Pontiff recalled the Christmas celebration where the Virgin Mary showed the world "the infant Jesus, the Prince of Peace" who came into the world to break down the "dividing wall of hostility."
Speaking on the theme of the World Day of Peace, "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God," Pope Benedict said that peacemakers are those who overcome evil with the power of truth, prayer and forgiveness. "The peacemakers are many, but they do not make noise. Like leaven in the dough, they make humanity grow according to God's plan," the Holy Father said.
After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father addressed the pilgrims in various languages, and invited them to look at the Blessed Mother for guidance in the journey of the upcoming New Year. "A new year is like a journey: with the light and grace of God, may it be a path to peace for every person and every family, for each country and for the whole world," Pope Benedict said.