The Pope has sent one of his most senior prefects to the Holy Land to accompany people through the celebration of Christmas during this time of war.
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski's visit is seen as a sign of the Pope's solidarity with people in the Holy Land amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In a statement announcing the visit, The Dicastery for the Service of Charity said the Pope had decided to offer "a tangible sign of his participation in the suffering of those who personally experience the consequences of war.
“Cardinal Krajewski will join this great invocation for peace together with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and the entire local Church, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the prince of peace and the only hope of our world.”
Pope Francis, it added, invites everyone to accompany the Cardinal’s journey in prayer, “in order to obtain the gift of peace in areas where the thunder of weapons continues to roar.”
The statement said that the Pope "saddened by the third world war fought piecemeal" that afflicts the world, prays every day for peace in conflicts including in Ukraine, Syria, many countries in Africa, and now in Israel and Palestine.
Cardinal Krajewski has frequently visited places of conflict to express the Pope’s solidarity - and he has personally delivered truckloads of humanitarian aid to Ukraine several times since Russia invaded the country last year.