Vatican to light up Christmas tree and Nativity Scene on 9 December.

This Christmas in St Peter’s Square, the Vatican will evoke the first living Nativity scene of St Francis on the 800th anniversary of its creation in Greccio north of Rome in 1223.

In addition to the Holy Family, the manger will feature life-sized terracotta statues depicting St Francis and some of the people who helped him recreate the first live Nativity scene.

The crib scene, which will come from the Italian diocese of Rieti, will be unveiled at a ceremony in St Peter’s Square on Saturday 9 December at 17.00.

Greccio Nativity scene fresco. Photo Vatican Media.


The Vatican’s Christmas tree, a silver fir from the north Italian province of Cuneo, will also be illuminated at the same time.

The 25-metre high tree will be decorated with thousands of nursery-grown edelweiss, a white mountain flower native to the Alps.

The Christmas tree and Nativity scene will remain in place throughout the Christmas season, from 9 December until 7 January 2024.

The 2023 edition of 100 Presepi, the international Nativity crib exhibition, will take place during the same period under the colonnade of St Peter’s Square.

Photo Vatican News

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