IT’S “LIGHTS ON” FOR CHRISTMAS TREE IN ST PETER’S SQUARE – VATICAN INAUGURATES THE NATIVITY SCENE IN ST. PETER’S SQUARE

IT’S “LIGHTS ON” FOR CHRISTMAS TREE IN ST PETER’S SQUARE

The Vatican Christmas tree was officially illuminated late this afternoon and the following slide show is composed of photos taken by EWTN’s own Daniel Ibanez:

The following story and photo about the nativity scene and tree is from vaticannews.va

VATICAN INAUGURATES THE NATIVITY SCENE IN ST. PETER’S SQUARE

On Thursday, December 5, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Bishop Fernardo Vérgez Alzaga, respectively president and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State, inaugurated the Nativity scene and the illumination of the Christmas tree in Saint Peter’s Square.

The crib comes from comes from Scurelle in the province of Trento, while the 26-meter (85 feet) high spruce tree comes from Rotzo in the province of Vicenza, Italy. The Nativity Scene, which has been made in the Trentino tradition, contains 20 life-size figures.

Both the tree and the crib are linked to the storm that struck many areas of the Triveneto region in Italy in October and November of 2018.

Meanwhile, the Pare di Conegliano Artistic Crib Group from the province of Treviso has been tasked with setting up the Nativity Scene inside Paul VI Hall. This crib will be full of references to the Veneto region and is a gift to Pope Francis.

The wooden statues are 120 centimeters high (47 inches) and are entirely carved by hand. The Holy Family will find hospitality in a nineteenth-century Gothic inspired structure.
The artistic lighting system will have low environmental impact thanks to adjustable LEDs in the light intensity.

Like the tree and the crib in St. Peter’s Square, the crib in the Paul VI Hall will remain on display until January 12, 2020.

THE VENERABLE FULTON SHEEN BEATIFICATION – POPE THANKS ITALIAN DIOCESES FOR GIFT OF CHRISTMAS TREE AND CRIB – HOLY SEE ASKS UNITED NATIONS TO DECLARE WORLD DAY OF HUMAN BROTHERHOOD

THE VENERABLE FULTON SHEEN BEATIFICATION

I posted the following link this morning on my Facebook page because it is a good account of what we know to have happened regarding the postponement of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen beatification:
https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/rochester-bishop-requested-fulton-sheen-beatification-delay-sources-say-20096?fbclid=IwAR3VzItHulRfI_wxJV5QAMNpn2NEn56xmAXCvz4qQ5ocTXKpNJngp_aeseY

I realize there are elements we do not yet know. In any case, I felt compelled to add the following comment to that CNA piece:

“It was the Rochester bishop’s name that I heard yesterday as the prelate who requested the Sheen beatification delay but was unable to verify with independent sources at the time: therefore I did not publish it nor could I talk about it with Teresa Tomeo on our weekly get-together on “Catholic Connection” yesterday afternoon. It is presumed that the bishop asked the Pope or someone at the Vatican for postponement during the first week of November when bishops of New York were in Rome for their ad limina visit. In any case, this still seems unfathomable because it was indicated on several occasions by the Holy See that all due diligence had been done for the Sheen case – years and years of studies, reading his works, examining his audio and video programs, following his life, interviewing people still alive who knew him, looking into all matters regarding heroic virtues, a saintly, unblemished life, including anything ever said vis-a-vis his reputation, studying and reviewing miracles, etc. There always is – and there must be! – a devil’s advocate approach to the lives of people being proposed for sainthood. So I remain perplexed about this matter.”

POPE THANKS ITALIAN DIOCESES FOR GIFT OF CHRISTMAS TREE AND CRIB

Pope Francis met this morning with a delegation from the Italian dioceses of Trento, Padua and Vittorio Veneto and thanked them for the gift of the Christmas tree and nativity scene to the Vatican this year.
By Vatican News

The Pope began by recalling last autumn’s storm that devastated entire wooded areas in Italy’s northern Triveneto region, home to the dioceses that donated this year’s Christmas tree to the Vatican. “These are events that frighten us,” said the Pope, “they are warning signs that creation sends us, and that ask us to take effective decisions immediately for the protection of our common home.”

The Christmas tree
“Tonight the lights that adorn the tree will be on,” continued Pope Francis, “It will remain next to the crib until the end of the Christmas holidays, and both will be admired by the many pilgrims from all over the world.” The Pope went on to praise the initiative that will see the replanting of 40 fir trees to replenish the forests damaged by the 2018 storm. The spruce tree decorating St Peter’s Square “represents a sign of hope especially for your forests,” he added, so that the work of reforestation can begin as soon as possible.

The Christmas crib
Turning to the nativity scene, Pope Francis said this Christmas crib, made almost entirely of wood and composed of architectural elements characteristic of the Trentino tradition, will help visitors enjoy the spiritual richness of Christmas. “The wooden trunks from the areas affected by the storms, which serve as a backdrop to the landscape, underline the precariousness in which the Holy Family found itself on that night in Bethlehem,” said the Pope.

The visit to Greccio
Pope Francis concluded by recalling his visit last Sunday to the town of Greccio, the place where St. Francis made the first nativity scene. The Pope referred to his Apostolic Letter, Admirabile signum, dedicated to the Christmas crib, “which is a simple and wonderful sign of our faith and is not lost,” he said. “Indeed, it is good that it is handed down from parents to children, from grandparents to grandchildren. It is a genuine way of communicating the Gospel, in a world that sometimes seems to be afraid to remember what Christmas really is.”

HOLY SEE ASKS UNITED NATIONS TO DECLARE WORLD DAY OF HUMAN BROTHERHOOD

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue announced in a communique today that members of the Superior Committee to achieve the objectives contained in the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Brotherhood for world peace and common coexistence have asked the United Nations to declare February 4 a World Day of Human Brotherhood.

This committee was formed on August 20, 2019 and is currently composed of Christian, Muslim and Jewish members, and is presided over by Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

On December 4, members of this Committee, led by Cardinal Ayuso Guixot and Judge Muhammad Abd al-Salam, met the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. António Guterres, in New York to deliver a message from Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayyeb. The message proposed February 4 as a World Day of Human Brotherhood. In addition, the United Nations is asked to participate, together with the Holy See and Al-Azhar, in the organization at a future date of a World Summit on Human Brotherhood.