Vatican releases surprising announcement over this year’s Nativity scene
This year the Vatican’s Nativity scene and Christmas tree placed in St. Peter’s Square will be inaugurated and lit on December 9th
According to Vatican Radio, the roughly 82-foot-high (25m) spruce tree will come from Trentino, Italy.
Once it is cut down, local school students will replace it by planting nearly 40 new spruce and larche seedlings in a nearby location.
The location was chosen when trees were culled after suffering from a parasite.
The Vatican’s Christmas tree will feature handmade ornaments and drawings created by children undergoing cancer and other treatments from several Italian hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Nativity scene measures a whopping 62-feet (19m) and will feature seventeen statues dressed in traditional Maltese costumes.
A replica of a traditional Maltese boat, known as a “Luzzu,” will also be present to represent tradition, fish and life but is also to recognize the migrants who were forced to cross the sea on makeshift boats to freedom in Italy.
ON December 9th, shortly before the tree-lighting ceremony, Pope Francis will receive an audience with the Nativity’s designer, artist Manwel Grech, representatives from Trent and Malta, and several children who designed ornaments.
The Christmas tree will remain on display until the feast of the Lord’s Baptism on January 8th.
By Kenya Sinclair