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Pope delivers Christmas message after Mass attack

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Pope attack caught on camera
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pope Benedict XVI dragged to ground by woman during Christmas Eve Mass
  • Pope delivers Christmas Day message; was unhurt in incident, Vatican says
  • Woman who dragged pope to ground is same one who tried to reach him last year
  • Cardinal caught up in incident suffered broken leg, Vatican says

Rome, Italy (CNN) -- The pope looked unscathed Friday as he delivered his Christmas message in St. Peter's Square, just hours after a woman jumped a barrier and dragged him down during Christmas Eve Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI, 82, delivered the traditional address known as "Urbi et Orbi" -- Latin for "To the City and the World," sending a message of hope to the world's afflicted.

He recognized those who have been affected by the global financial crisis, and by war and conflict. "May your hearts be filled with hope and joy for the savior has been born for us," he said.

He expressed solidarity with the victims of natural disasters and poverty, especially mentioning those who were forced to flee their homes.

"In the face of the exodus of all those who migrate from their homelands and are driven away by hunger, intolerance or environmental degradation, the church is a presence calling others to an attitude of acceptance and welcome," he said.

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He then sent Christmas greetings in 65 languages with tens of thousands gathered before him.

The pope was not injured when an assailant, identified as Susanna Maiolo, lunged at him during mass Thursday night, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

Maiolo, 25, is the same woman who tried to attack the pontiff on Christmas Eve last year, Lombardi said. She was detained by Vatican police and then taken to a mental institution, he added.

The pope was quickly helped to his feet by his aides -- prompting cheers from the crowd -- and the service resumed, Lombardi said.

John Allen, senior Vatican analyst for CNN, said such security breaches aren't uncommon.

"As compared to say, the president of the United States, the security membrane around the pope is pretty thin and fairly permeable," he said, citing similar past incidents, including one that happened last Christmas Eve.

Allen said that generally, these disruptions are caused by people who aren't seeking real harm, but who want to be close to the pope.

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.