Vatican: The Nativity Scene at St. Peter's Square

Source: FSSPX News

The first preparations for Christmas are beginning in Rome, with the arrival of the first Sunday of Advent on November 27.  Vatican City employees have begun to prepare the structure that will hold the monumental nativity scene at St. Peter's Square, to be unveiled on the evening of December 24.

The scaffolding can be seen at the foot of the central obelisk.  The nativity scene should take up about 300 square meters.  John Paul II had a giant nativity scene installed in the center of the Square in 1982.  Besides the man-sized figures, the oldest of which dated from 1842 and came from the Roman church Saint-André-de-la-Vallée, last year's Vatican nativity scene also included 9 statues offered by the Republic of the Philippines.

Every year, since 1983, a country of Europe gives the Pope a tree from its forests.  This year, the giant pine tree will come from Ukraine, from the region of Ruthenia (Carpathian Ukraine).  The trees that will decorate the apostolic Palace will be imported from the province of Lviv.  The Catholic bishops of the latin and byzantine rites, as well as some representatives of the Orthodox Church, will be present at the inauguration of the tree in St. Peter's Square.

“This is a very important act, for many countries have been awaiting this occasion for years,” declared Bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, primate of the Greek Orthodox Catholic Church.  “For Ukraine, it is an additional testimony of its European roots and its affiliation to the family of the European nations.” (source: apic/imedia – DICI#245 Nov 25, 2011)