The Pope spoke today at the statue of Our Lady near Rome's Spanish Steps, as he gave his reflection before the midday Angelus. He mentioned Mary and also mentioned St. John the Baptist, the subject of today's Gospel reading for Mass.
Here is an excerpt from Papa Ratzinger Forum:
"Through the Gospel, John the Baptist continues to speak down the centuries to every generation. His clear, harsh words are particularly salutary for us, men and women of our time, in which the way of living and perceiving Christmas unfortunately all too often suffers the effects of a materialistic mindset. The "voice" of the great prophet asks us to prepare the way of the Lord, who comes in the external and internal wildernesses of today, thirsting for the living water that is Christ."
Picture: St. John the Baptist (left) and St. John the Evangelist (right), by Mariotto di Nardo, 1408. Photo by me. Museum information.