Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Palestine, around 2000 years ago. His birth had been prophesied in the Jewish Bible (Old Testament). His mother was Mary of Nazareth and his foster-father was Joseph of the House of David, and they raised him in Nazareth.

Christians believe that Jesus is both God and man: a divine Person with two natures: one divine and one human. He was sent by God as “the light of the nations” to a world that, as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, was lost in the darkness of sin and death.

Jesus preached God’s mercy and saving power to the people of Palestine. He healed the sick, forgave sins and taught the truth.

While the crowds loved Jesus, the Temple authorities opposed him. They plotted against him, arrested him, tried him on false charges, and the Romans crucified him. He was buried in a tomb, and on the third day, he rose from the dead in bodily glory, an act that was witnessed by the apostles.

So that his work could continue, Jesus commissioned Peter and the apostles to spread the Word of God to all nations and to baptize people in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

On Pentecost day, Jesus sealed God’s presence in the Church by sending the Holy Spirit as the soul and life of the Church for all time (Acts 2:1-13, 37-47; John 20:19-23).

“The happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to has a name and a face. It is Jesus of Nazareth.”

– Pope Benedict XVI.