A Nativity scene and Christmas tree, like those displayed in St Peter’s Square, are visible reminders of God’s benevolence and closeness to all men and women, Pope Francis said.
The traditional Christmas displays are “the signs of the heavenly Father’s compassion, of his participation and closeness to humanity who experience not being abandoned in dark times, but instead visited and accompanied in their difficulties,” the pope said.
“Every year, the Christmas Nativity scene and tree speak to us through their symbolic language. They make more visible what is captured in the experience of the birth of the Son of God,” Pope Francis said on 7th December in a meeting with delegations from Poland and Italy, responsible respectively for the 2017 Vatican Christmas tree and Nativity scene.
The centrepiece of the Vatican’s Christmas holiday decorations is the towering 92-foot spruce tree.
Picture: The Nativity scene and Christmas tree are seen after a lighting ceremony in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Thursday 7th December. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).