PHOTOS the lights were switched on at the Vatican’s 100-foot Christmas tree?

The Holy Family and three Angels were handcrafted by Guatemalan artisans following the tradition of large, golden crowns for St. Joseph and Virgin Mary.

Pope Francis spent Saturday morning in silence praying in front of the nativity scene in Paul VI Hall, just before the ceremony.

The pope spoke to a group of representatives from the communities who donated the nativity scenes as well as the Christmas tree. He said that the Christmas tree’s lights are a reminder that Jesus “comes into our darkness, our existence often shrouded by the shadows of sin, fear and pain.”

On December 3, 2022, the lights were switched on at the Vatican’s 100-foot Christmas tree. Daniel Ibanez/CNA


“Yes, God loves us so deeply that he shares in our humanity and our lives. He is always there for us, no matter what circumstance. He is with us in all things, joy and sorrow. He is with us in all circumstances, even the most difficult. He is the Emmanuel, God with us, the light that illuminates the darkness, and the tender presence that accompanies our journey,” Pope Francis stated.


Courtney Mares is the Rome Correspondent at Catholic News Agency. She graduated from Harvard University and has worked in news bureaus across three continents. In recognition of her efforts with North Korean refugees, she was awarded the Gardner Fellowship.


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