The Holy Family, three angels and the Virgin Mary were made by Guatemalan artisans according to local tradition. They used large gold crowns for St. Joseph as well as large golden crowns in honor of St. Joseph.

Pope Francis spent some time in silent prayer before the nativity scene was set up in Paul VI Hall Saturday morning, ahead of the ceremony.

In an audience with representatives of the communities that donated the Nativity scenes and the Christmas trees, the pope stated that the Christmas trees with their lights were a reminder of Jesus, who “comes in to illuminate our darkness,” our existence often shrouded under the shadow of sin fear and pain.

December 3, 2022 saw the lighting of the nearly 100-foot Vatican Christmas tree. Daniel Ibanez/CNA

 

“Yes, God loves our humanity so much that He shares our lives and our humanity. He never leaves us; He is there in every situation, joyous and sad. He is always there, even in the worst times. He is the Emmanuel. He is the God with Us, the light that illuminates the darkness and the tender presence who accompanies us along our journey.

 

Courtney Mares works as a Rome correspondent for Catholic News Agency. Graduate of Harvard University, she reported from news offices on three continents. She was also awarded the Gardner Fellowship to support her work with North Korean refugees.

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