The pope will deliver his yearly “Urbi et Orbi” blessing from Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome at 12 noon local time on Dec.25 (6.am EST). The address is being live-streamed on the Vatican News YouTube Channel or the Catholic television channel EWTN.

Pope Francis’ Christmas schedule begins with a midnight mass on Christmas eve also known as the Solemnity of the Lord’s Birth which is attended by thousands of worshipers, including cardinals, archbishops and bishops. The mass starts at 9:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. EST) on Dec.24. The Midnight Mass can be watched online via the Centro Televisivo Vatican.

This is followed by the traditional Urbi et Orbi message on Christmas day. In the Urbi et Orbi message, which can be translated into English as “to the City [of Rome] and the world,” the pope will highlight suffering and conflict in the world and also speak about the priorities of the pope and his Vatican team. He then concludes the message by greetings in many different languages. 

Urbi et Orbi Pope Francis attends the Easter Mass at St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Vatican, April 1, 2018 Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

While delivering the message in 2017, Pope Francis said, “Today, as the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline, Christmas invites us to focus on the sign of the Child and to recognize him in the faces of little children, especially those for whom, like Jesus, ‘there is no place in the inn’.”

“We see Jesus in the children of unemployed parents who struggle to offer their children a secure and peaceful future.  And in those whose childhood has been robbed and who, from a very young age, have been forced to work or to be enrolled as soldiers by unscrupulous mercenaries,” the pope added.

He concluded the speech by saying, “I offer a warm greeting to all of you, dear brothers and sisters from throughout the world gathered here in this Square, and to all those who in various countries are joined to us by radio, television and other communications media. May the birth of Christ the Saviour renew hearts, awaken the desire to build a future of greater fraternity and solidarity, and bring joy and hope to everyone.  Happy Christmas!”

On Dec.26, the Catholic feast of St. Stephen, the pope will recite the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square. This year, he is likely to speak about modern-day martyrdom.