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Friday, December 2, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 2 DEC 2011 (VIS) - This Christmas, the nativity scene in St. Peter's Square will be dedicated Mary, the Mother of God, also in view of the beatification earlier this year of John Paul II, who was profoundly devoted to Our Lady.

  Standing next to the manger in the nativity scene, which will be inaugurated on 24 December, are a number of buildings recreated in the architectural style of biblical Palestine, where the events of Mary's life took place, such as the Annunciation, the meeting with her cousin Elisabeth and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The figures in the grotto itself come from the nativity scene created by St. Vincent Pallotti for the Roman church of Sant'Andrea della Valle in 1842.

  The Christmas tree, which will be raised next to the obelisk, is a spruce from the Zakarpattia region in Ukraine, 30.5 metres high and with a trunk of 56 centimetres in diameter. Its more than 700 branches will be decorated with 2,500 silver- and gold-coloured baubles illuminated by white and yellow lights.

  The tree, a gift from the Republic of Ukraine, will be raised on 5 December and inaugurated on 16 December in the presence of the bishops of that nation.
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