The coronavirus will not dim the Christmas spirit—this is what the Vatican hopes to impart after it announced the inauguration of its annual Christmas display.
A symbol of hope, trust, love, family, and the awareness that Jesus will come among his people to save and console them, the Vatican’s Christmas display is set to be inaugurated on December 11 at 4:30 PM in compliance with anti-COVID-19 regulations. (Read: Pope Francis to Celebrate Christmas Liturgies in Private This Year)
Among the much-awaited displays are the Christmas tree and nativity scene. It comes as for this year, these two are considered to be special as the nativity scene was donated by the Italian town of Castelli, while the Christmas tree was from Kočevje, in Slovenia.
Vatican Nativity Scene
The famous Vatican nativity scene is made of ceramic statues and created by students and teachers of the Art Institute, “F.A. Grue.” The school is a state of the art facility for design, which from 1965 to 1975, has dedicated its teaching activity to the Christmas theme. (Read: Two Popes in the Vatican: How do they celebrate Christmas in their shared home?)
According to reports, 54 statues from the school will be exhibited at St. Peter’s Square this year.
Vatican Christmas Tree
The Vatican Christmas tree, meanwhile, is a 28-meter high majestic spruce that came from a town in the Rinza river. The region where it came from is one of the Slovenian territories where nature is mostly intact. The tree has been a symbol of fertility since ancient times. (Read: 4 Secrets in the Life of Kateri, The First Native American Saint)
The inauguration ceremony for the Vatican Christmas display will be presided over by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Bishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, respectively the President and Secretary-General of the Governorate of Vatican City State. On the same day, in the morning, the delegations from Castelli and Kočevje will be received in audience by Pope Francis for the official presentation of the gifts.
The Christmas decorations will remain on display until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, on January 10, 2021.