Pope Francis on Sunday asked institutions and authorities to do "everything possible" so that "every family has a place to live" in a message delivered after praying the Angelus in St. Peter's Square on Sunday

"Family and home go together," said the pontiff, adding, "I call on everyone - individuals, organs of society, authorities - to do everything possible to assure that every family has a place to live."

After his homily, the pope made reference to a sign reading "The poor cannot wait" carried by several people who had come to the huge square.

"This makes me think that Jesus was born in a stable, not in a house. Later, he had to flee, to go to Egypt to save himself, but in the end he returned to his house in Nazareth," the pope said.

"Therefore, I think about so many families without a home. Because they have not had one or because they have lost it for so many reasons. Family and home are words that go together and it's very difficult for a family to get ahead without having a house," Pope Francis said.

The pontiff also referred to a group of demonstrators who on Sunday came to St. Peter's Square, asking them to "defend their rights without violence."

He referred to the "pitchfork" movement comprised of people affected by the economic crisis who in recent days have staged anti-government demonstrations across Italy which at times have degenerated into violent incidents.

The pope closed the Sunday Angelus celebration by wishing all a "Christmas of hope and brotherhood." EFE