Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 21 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Anselm of Canterbury
home iconChurch
line break icon

St. Peter’s nativity scene will be made of sand



I.Media for Aleteia - published on 10/31/18

Will draw from an ancient tradition of sand sculpture from the Italian city of Jesolo

The Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for Christmas 2018 will honor “the ancient tradition of sand sculpture” of the Italian city of Jesolo, reports L’Osservatore Romano in its October 30-31 edition.

In sand from the Dolomites, the representation of the Nativity of the Lord will be created on a surface of some 25 square meters (270 square feet). It will include a bas-relief measuring 16 meters long (52 feet), five meters high (16 feet), and six meters deep (20 feet).

It will be inaugurated on December 7 in the afternoon and will be in place until January 13, the day of the Baptism of the Lord.  

According to the Roman daily Il Messaggero, 1,000 cubic meters of sand will be needed to complete this work, which will begin in mid-November. Before reaching Rome, the sand will be blessed by the patriarch of Venice, Francesco Moraglia. 

In addition to the Nativity scene, a Christmas tree will also be installed in St. Peter’s Square, like every year. This time it will be a spruce tree measuring 21 meters in height (nearly 70 feet) measuring 10 meters (32 feet) wide at the base.

This tree will be donated by the Italian diocese of Concordia-Pordenone, in the north of the country, between Venice and Austria.

Both the tree and the Nativity scene will be illuminated by lighting managed by the Governorate of the State of the Vatican City. These installations, remind the Vatican Daily, consume little energy and have a low environmental impact.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.