Although the Vatican knows Christmas may be very different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it already has chosen its stamps and the Nativity scene and tree that will stand in St. Peter’s Square.
Putting up a Nativity scene before Christmas is a reminder to stop and remember what Christmas is really about and to prepare one’s heart like a manger for the coming of Christ, Pope Francis said.
The Vatican unveiled the Nativity scene and lit the Christmas tree with energy-saving lights in St. Peter’s Square during a late afternoon ceremony Dec. 5.
The statue is believed to have been taken sometime between 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, and 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13.
A massive Nativity scene made entirely of sand will be unveiled at the Vatican’s annual tree lighting ceremony in St. Peter’s Square Dec. 7.
A Nativity scene and Christmas tree, like those displayed in St. Peter’s Square, are visible reminders of God’s benevolence and closeness to all men and women, Pope Francis said.