Vatican Preparing for Christmas

Source: FSSPX News


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This year, the province of Lower-Austria offered the Christmas tree, which stands on St. Peter’s Square. The 108-foot spruce tree is the highest ever set up and was inaugurated during a ceremony presided by Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State on December 13.

On the previous day, the pope granted an audience to Erwinn Pröll, governor of the region of Lower-Austria, who was accompanied by a thousand pilgrims who had come to present the Christmas tree as well as some forty other conifers to decorate the Paul VI Hall, the Clementine Hall, the papal apartments and the offices of the Roman Curia.

The traditional crib set up in the center of St. Peter’s Square is presently under construction, and will be unveiled on December 24 late in the afternoon. The Nativity scene will be located near the walls of the town of Bethlehem, with a watch, a large portal, and modest peasant houses nearby, the president of the Governorate of Vatican City State explained. Part of the giant ornamental figures of the Nativity Scene will be taken from the Crib made by St. Vincent Pallotti for the Roman Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle in 1842.

The pope gave the traditional blessing for the Infant Jesus statues brought by the children of the area of Rome at the time of the Angelus of the 3rd Sunday of Advent on St. Peter’s Square. To the pilgrims assembled on the Square the pope expressed “his real pleasure to renew the beautiful tradition of the Blessing of the Christ Child figurines, the miniature statues of the Baby Jesus to be placed in the manger."

The pope addressed the 2,000 children and young Romans present with their figurines, and invited them to join him, following attentively the prayer, begging God that “with [His] blessing these images of Jesus, who is about to come among us, may be a sign of your presence and love in our homes.”