Vatican’s Christmas tree lighted! Wooden Nativity scene comes from Trentino region of Italy.
The tree lights were turned on in a ceremony on the evening of December 5. The spruce is some 85 feet (26 meters) high.
The Holy Father thanked the people of the dioceses, also praising the initiative to replant 40 fir trees to replenish the forest, which was damaged by a storm in 2018.
The Christmas crib is made almost entirely of wood and composed of architectural elements characteristic of the Trentino tradition.
“The wooden trunks from the areas affected by the storms, which serve as a backdrop to the landscape, underline the precariousness in which the Holy Family found itself on that night in Bethlehem,” said the pope.
The Holy Father recalled how just some days ago, he went to Greccio, where St. Francis created the first “living Nativity,” the predecessor of the tradition of Christmas cribs all over the world.
The pope released an Apostolic Letter there, Admirabile signum, dedicated to the Christmas crib, “which is a simple and wonderful sign of our faith.”
The pope urged that the tradition of Nativity scenes be “handed down from parents to children, from grandparents to grandchildren. It is a genuine way of communicating the Gospel, in a world that sometimes seems to be afraid to remember what Christmas really is.”
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?