Leader of the Vatican city, Pope Francis has called on people to spend less on Christmas presents and celebrations and instead give the money to those suffering in war-ravaged Ukraine.
“It is nice to celebrate Christmas. But let’s lower the level of Christmas spending a bit,” Francis said in his weekly general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, December 14.
“Let’s have a more humble Christmas, with more humble gifts. Let’s send what we save to the Ukrainian people, who need it,” he said.
The Ukrainians “are suffering so much. They are hungry, cold. So many people are dying because there are no doctors or nurses,” the pope said.
The pope’s plea comes as Ukraine’s Western allies pledged an additional one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in emergency winter aid to help the country withstand Russia’s missiles on energy and infrastructure.