VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Under the dome of Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated the Christmas vigil Mass on Tuesday (Dec. 24) by reminding faithful of the redeeming power of grace and admonishing them to “take courage,” because “God loves you.”

“Do not lose confidence, do not lose hope, do not think that to love is a waste of time,” the pope said in his homily. “Tonight, love has conquered fear, new hope has arrived, God’s kindly light has overcome the darkness of human arrogance. 

“Mankind, God loves you; for your sake he became man. You are no longer alone!”

Francis said that like the shepherds who ran to the manger to see Christ, faithful today have many failures and are “not saints.” At

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