Pope Benedict, prepares to deliver his Christmas message to the world.
Thousands gather in St. Peters Square to hear his message.
The 85-year-pontiff calls for peace in the world's trouble spots.
(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE BENEDICT SAYING:
"Yes, may peace spring up for the people of Syria, deeply wounded and divided by a conflict which does not spare even the defenseless, and reaps innocent victims. Once again I appeal for an end to the bloodshed, easier access for the relief of refugees and the displaced, and dialogue in the pursuit of a political solution to the conflict." (PART COVERED WITH IMAGES OF CROWDS IN ST. PETER'S SQUARE)
The leader of the world's more than 1 billion Roman Catholics also condemned conflicts in Mali and Nigeria.
The Pope's message followed a Christmas Eve Mass when he called on people to find room for God in their fast-paced lives.
Pope appeals for peace in Syria (1:13)
Dec. 25 - Pope Benedict delivers his ''Urbi et Orbi'' blessing, saying hope cannot die for peace in Syria, Mali and Nigeria. Deborah Lutterbeck reports. ( Transcript )