VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI appeared in good shape yesterday as he addressed the faithful two days after a woman knocked him down at the start of Christmas Eve Mass.
He spoke about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world, and did not mention the incident in his message to a crowd gathered in a rainy St. Peter's Square.
On the day Christians commemorate St. Stephen, the church's first martyr, the pope remembered those who "undergo trials and suffering because of their faith" and urged prayers for them.
The pope, 82, was walking down the aisle at the start of Thursday night's service at St. Peter's Basilica when the woman, whom Vatican officials described as mentally unstable, jumped the barricades and pulled him to the ground as she was taken down by guards.
Benedict quickly got up and, though slightly rattled, continued with the Mass. On Friday morning, he delivered his traditional Christmas Day message.
Though Benedict was unhurt, a retired Vatican diplomat, French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 87, fell and fractured his hip in the commotion. The Vatican's spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the cardinal probably would undergo surgery today.