VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Nativity scene that will sit under a 98-feet-tall silver fir tree in the middle of St. Peter’s Square this year will feature 19 life-sized figures carved in cedar by artisans in the northeastern Italian town of Sutrio.
The tree comes from Rosello, a village of only 182 residents, in Italy’s central Abruzzo region, said a news release issued Oct. 28 by the office governing Vatican City State. The decorations on the tree are being made by young adults at a residential psychiatric facility in Rosello.
The tree will be lighted, and the traditional Nativity scene unveiled Dec. 3, the office said. The display will remain up until after the feast of the Baptism of the Lord Jan. 8.
The cedar for the Nativity scene figures, the Vatican said, came from trees selectively cut by gardeners to improve the health of other trees in several public and private gardens. None of the trees were cut specifically for the sculptures.
The Holy Family, the ox and donkey and an angel will be under an arched structure made of larch. The other figures — including the Three Kings, the shepherdess, a carpenter, a family and a “Cramar,” or local wandering salesman — will be on the surrounding platform or ramps leading to it.
The day before the office announced the plans for St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican’s Philatelic Office published a notice about the Vatican’s 2022 Christmas stamps, which were painted by Italian artist and activist Francesco Canale, who was born without arms or legs and paints holding a brush between his teeth.
He painted two stamps — one of an angel announcing the birth of Jesus to a shepherd and one of a shepherd adoring the baby Jesus.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of 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 and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103