(Vatican Radio) When the Jubilee Year of Mercy begins on December 8th, all eyes will be looking towards Rome. So the Governorate of the Holy See has decided to take advantage of the attention and unveil the St Peter's Square Christmas tree on the same day.
This year’s tree, donated by the German region of Bavaria, is a two-pointed Spruce, which stands 32 meters tall. The tree will arrive on the 18th of November and will be erected overnight by the staff of the Vatican Gardens.
The crib scene and figures will be donated by the Archdiocese of Trento, collaborating with the Friends of the Crib of Tesero group. Twenty-four life sized figures will make up the various scenes at the base of the tree.
Apart from the figures of Mary, Joseph, the Child and the three Magi, other figures will represent the various Trentino nations, complete with accurate representations of rural buildings and typical Trentino clothing from the mid-twentieth century.
Visitors will notice particularly colourful tree decorations this year. The Vatican has joined forces with the Countess Lene Thun Foundation, recreating designs made by children suffering from cancer. The Countess Lene Thun Foundation offers recreation therapy to children in oncology wards across Italy. The children were asked to come up with designs that represent their dreams and desires.
Some of the children who designed the decorations will meet Pope Francis on the 8th December. They will present him with some of the decorations they made and accompany him to the unveiling of the Tree.
The Christmas tree lights will be illuminated on 18th December.
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