Vatican's 2023 Nativity Scene to Resemble First Nativity Scene by St. Francis of Assisi

Vatican's 2023 Nativity Scene to Resemble First Nativity Scene by St. Francis of Assisi

In a much-anticipated event, the Vatican is set to unveil a remarkable Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square and the Paul VI Hall, paying homage to the historic first nativity scene envisioned by St. Francis of Assisi back in 1223.

This year's display will be doubly significant, as it coincides with the 800th anniversary of St. Francis's creation and the approval of the Bollata Rule for the Friars Minor by Pope Honorius III.

The centerpiece of this extraordinary presentation, a donated silver fir tree, will be sourced from Macra, a charming municipality nestled in the upper Maira Valley, located within the province of Cuneo. The decoration of the Nativity scene will be thoughtfully inspired by Laudato Si', Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment and care for our planet.

Mark your calendars for the grand inauguration on December 9th at 5:00 PM. The ceremony will be graced by the presence of Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, President of the Governorate of the Vatican City State, and Sister Raffaella Petrini, General Secretary of the same Governorate.

Earlier that day, delegations from Rieti and Macra will have the honor of presenting their gifts to Pope Francis during an official audience.

This Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square will transport visitors back to the Christmas of 1223, recreating the moment when St. Francis, inspired by his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, requested a reenactment of the birth of Jesus. The chosen location, reminiscent of Bethlehem, adds a profound layer of authenticity to the representation.

Upon the conclusion of its display in the Vatican, these magnificent works of art will find a permanent home in the city of Rieti.

As tradition dictates, the intricate lighting and ceremony arrangements are in the capable hands of the Governorate's Infrastructure and Services Directorate, along with the Governorate's Events Coordination team. Visitors will have the pleasure of enjoying the tree and the Nativity scenes until the close of the Christmas season, culminating with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday, January 7, 2024.

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