VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican’s Christmas tree and Nativity scene will feature traditional designs and decorations centered on the theme of mercy.
A towering 92-foot spruce tree will be the centerpiece of the Vatican’s Christmas holidays, according to a note released Oct. 25 by the governing office of Vatican City.
The tree, which measures nearly 33 feet in diameter, will be donated by the Archdiocese of Elk, Poland, and transported to the Vatican on a flat-bed truck traveling over 1,240 miles across central Europe, the Vatican said.
The Nativity scene, instead, will be donated by the Benedictine Abbey of Montevergine, located in southern Italy, and created in an “18th century style according to the oldest Neapolitan tradition.”
Covering a surface of over 860 square feet, the Nativity scene will be “inspired by the works of mercy” and will feature 20 terracotta figures, some as tall as 6 feet, the governing office said.
As it was last year, the Christmas tree will be adorned with ornaments made by children receiving treatment at several Italian hospitals.
“These children, with their parents, participated in a ceramics recreational therapy program” organized by the Countess Lene Thune Foundation, which provides therapeutic recreation to young boys and girls suffering from oncological and hematological disorders, the Vatican said.
Additionally, children from the central Italian Archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia, which was devastated by earthquakes in 2016, will also make ornaments for the Christmas tree.
Several of the children and a delegation from Poland will meet with Pope Francis at an audience the morning of Dec. 7; that evening, the Vatican will hold a tree-lighting ceremony.
The tree will remain in St. Peter’s Square until the feast of the Lord’s Baptism Jan. 7, the Vatican said.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103