The Vatican’s Christmas tree and Nativity scene will feature unique designs and decorations highlighting several issues close to Pope Francis, including care for the environment, the sick and migrants.
An 82-foot spruce tree will be the centrepiece of the Vatican’s Christmas holidays, the governing office of Vatican City said.
The tree will be harvested on 13th November in the Lagorai forest near Scurelle in the northern province of Trent and will benefit from a unique gesture in keeping with the pope’s call for the care of creation: Elementary school students “will plant nearly 40 new spruce and larch seedlings in a nearby area where some trees affected by parasites fell in autumn,” the governing office said.
The Vatican added that the tree will be adorned with handmade ornaments featuring drawings made by children receiving treatment at several Italian hospitals.
“These children, with their parents, participated in a ceramics recreational therapy program” organised by the Countess Lene Thune Onlus Foundation, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to therapeutic recreation for young boys and girls suffering from oncological and hematological disorders, the Vatican said.
Picture: The St Peter’s Square Christmas tree. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).