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His Majesty speaks on Christmas (Genna)

Christmas Speech to Students No Justification for War Radio Speech to the American People


"When Jesus Christ was born from Virgin Mary, from that time on He lived an exemplary life, a life which men everywhere must emulate. This Life and the Faith that He taught us assures us of salvation, assures us also of harmony and a good life upon Earth. Because of the exemplary character of the life of Jesus Christ it is necessary that all men do their maximum in their human efforts to see to it that they approximate as much as they can the good example that has been set by Him.

"It is quite true that there is no perfection in humanity. From time to time we make mistakes, we do commit sins but even as we do that, deep in our hearts as Christians we know we have forgiveness from the Almighty. He taught us that all who seek Him shall find Him. To live in this healthy life, a Christian life, is what makes me follow Jesus Christ.

"For Christian people no day is as glorious and as joyous as the day on which they commemorate the Nativity of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. On this day each one of us tries to forget his worries and his anxieties and endeavours to alleviate those of his loved ones and friends, and to forgive those who have wronged him, so as only to meditate on the life of Him who is Supreme Lord of All.

"From Our early childhood We are struck by the sentiments of unfathomable mystery, simple and yet sublime, which stirs up in us the evocation of the Birth of the Divine Child.

"The Mystery of Bethlehem reveals itself in our spirits, more fascinating the more we advance on the path of life, and the more we realise the magnitude of the mission each one of us has to accomplish in this world, be it humble or noble, arduous or thankless.

"An unheard of event, expected for more than forty centuries has at last been accomplished: the Son of God is born, He has only a stable for His palace and a manger for a cradle. The hearts of the wise are thrilled by this majestic humility, and the kings of the Earth bend their knees before Him and worship Him.

" 'Peace on Earth, goodwill to men,' - this was His first message. In the same manner when He went to the summit of Calvary, there to expiate our sins with the supreme sacrifice, He gave up His last breath invoking forgiveness for His very tormentors: 'Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.'

"In pondering over the life, the goodness, humanity and sacrifice of the Saviour of the World, in looking at the laws which He gave us, how much should we be ashamed to call ourselves Christian people, and yet not to follow His footsteps. Had we been Christian people, had we been worthy of the name, peace would have reigned on all the face of the Earth, and we would have risen to the level of the immortal angels who always glorify the Eternal God, and the peoples of the world would no longer have remained divided into hostile camps.

"In very truth there are no interest or reasons, however legitimate they may be, that can justify war."


Christmas speech to students 

"Today, Christmas, the anniversary of the birth of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, We extend Our warm and sincere greetings to all the students here in Our Capital, to those in the schools established by Us throughout the Empire and many others studying abroad.

"Once again, as annually, We are today here in your midst and in this Christmas Hall observing this great day which has been awaited by millions in all parts of the world just as We have anxiously anticipated its coming.

"In guiding the various agencies to fulfill the requirements of  modern civilization, We have taken under Our direct care, together with Our other burdensome responsibilities, - the enormous responsibility of education giving it priority as a means not only of providing you with enlightenment, of raising your standard of living, of leading you to better health, but to guarantee that in the pursuit of your aims and aspirations you will be an asset to your country.

"It is a source of immense satisfaction today to see the realisation of Our efforts to make Ethiopia assume her rightful place in international and African affairs: First, the next Conference of Independent African States will be held in Our capital. Secondly, Ethiopia has been selected as the Headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission to Africa, the inaugural session of which has just ended. Thirdly, We see before us African students who have benefited by the scholarships that We have granted to aid the African peoples here to study in Our institutions.

"As a good tree is known by its fruits, so the future of Ethiopia depends on you, the fruits of Our educational system, to set an example to the coming generation through your work and the life you will lead.

"Ethiopia's enhanced and rapidly evolving role in world life, the growth and expansion of her national endeavours make it imperative that you students prepare yourselves for your responsibilities by being obedient to your teachers and being responsive to authority."

January 8, 1959 
from the book "Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions May 1957 - December 1959"

Christmas Radio Speech to the American People
Chapter VI, page 40, of the English translation of „My Life and Ethiopia`s Progress – Volume Two: Addis Abeba 1966 E.C.“

"While We were in England We befriended many people and in December 1937, on Christmas Day, received more than 1,000...letters and many Christmas greeting cards from America. The Americans asked Us to make a radio speech in order to identify Our supporters and thank them all. Thus, with Ato Wolde Giorgis Wolde Yohannes and Ato Ephraim Tewolde Medhin, We left Paddington Station by taxi for the B.B.C. studios. On Our way the taxi had a collision in wich we fractured Our knee bone and suffered great pain. ...  ... The full text of the speech We broadcasted that day to the American people was as follows:

"I am very pleased to send you words of my best wishes for your happiness, progress and peace, on this blessed day for mankind, from the capital of Great Britain, which is renowned for its hospitality. Let peace reign in your hearts, among your families, in the unity of your governments, and in your relations with other peoples of the world. There is no greater day of gratitude and joy for Christians than celebrating the birthday of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. On this day of happiness, every Christian, by meditating on [Jesus'] life and the work He accomplished for all of us, tends to forget the trials he faces and the sadness that breaks his heart. At the same time everyone is inclined to minimize the trials and sorrows of his own, his kindred, and friends and forgives those who have grieved him. Since Our childhood, Our innermost thoughts have been overwhelmed by the mysterious deep spirit of the divine infant's birth, which is not only expressive but also glorious and inscrutable. Likewise, no matter what one's reputation, whether one's accomplishment is great or humble, tiresome or fruitless, in the journey of life, the mystery of Bethlehem dominates our spirit.

"With the birth of the Son of God, an unprecedented, an unrepeatable, and a long-anticipated phenomenon occurred. He was born in a stable instead of a palace, in a manger instead of a crib. The hearts of the Wise men were struck by fear and wonder due to His Majestic Humbleness. The kings prostrated themselves before Him and worshipped Him. 'Peace be to those who have good will. This became the first message.

When He sacrificed himself at Golgotha for the atonement of our sin, He prayed with His last breath for the forgiveness of those who had tortured Him saying, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do'. Shame on those of us who are Christians and do not follow the way of the Savior of the World, whose life was filled with kindness, humility, and martyrdom! If we lived by the laws he gave us and were worthy of being called Christian, peace would have reigned on this earth.

"Men were supposed to be the equals of the living angels who unceasingly sang praises before the eternal God. Had this been so, peoples of the world would not have been divided along lines of enmity. In truth there is no legitimate reason or good cause which justifies war. Was it not this fundamental spirit which dwelt in American statesmen and their brothers in other parts of the world that enabled them to write the new international principles according to the laws of Our Savior. The principles were intended to avoid the calamities of war and to bring together the big and small nations of the world as one family and settle disputes that might arise between them through appropriate law and justice.

"Well, there is not much to do about that! Although the toils of wise people may earn them respect, it is a fact of life that the spirit of the wicked continues to cast its shadow on this world. The arrogant are seen visibly leading their people into crime and destruction. The laws of the League of Nations are constantly violated and wars and acts of aggression repeatedly take place, and in regard to this, your honorable president told you recently that the principles of [the Covenant of the League of Nations], which were meant to assure the peace and safety of all peoples, were trampled on, and the forum of peace was consequently disrupted. The respectable idea on which [the league] was founded was made an object of mockery. The two-thousand-year-old Christian Civilization was threatened with destruction. If this happens, there will be a return to the days of barbarism, when the mighty could realize their aspirations at will. So that the spirit of the cursed will not gain predominance over the human race whom Christ redeemed with his blood, all peace loving people should cooperate to stand firm in order to preserve and promote lawfulness and peace.

"War is not the only means to stop war. Men of goodwill, who fully recognize their duties, should be able, with the assistance of all free men, to prevent war and help rehabilitate all those who were debilitated and damaged by war, in order to protect this precious diamond, 'Peace'.

"People of America! I wish you a merry Christmas. I plead with you to remember in your prayers all those weak and endangered peoples who look to the flags of the free nations with confidence, hoping to discern the star which will announce their peace and future security.

Saturday, December 25, 1937
Give thanks to the website Chronological Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Qedamawi Haile Selassie