This Saturday, December 3, the Holy Father received in audience the delegations that this year have donated the tree and the nativity scene for Saint Peter’s Square and also the nativity scene for the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican. The Ambassador of Guatemala to the Holy See stressed that “peace is a central theme in this birth.”
Renato Martinez – Vatican City
“This nativity scene brings together various regions of Guatemala, but practically this nativity scene is an instrument of unity for the Guatemalan people during these Christmas holidays,” said Mr. Alfredo Vázquez, Guatemalan Ambassador to the Holy See, explaining the characteristics of the nativity scene that his country has donated to the Vatican and has been installed in the Paul VI Hall for this Christmas.
A gift from the Catholic people of Guatemala
A few minutes before Pope Francis began audience with the Italian delegations of Sutrio and Rosello, who donated the tree and the nativity scene for Saint Peter’s Square, and the Guatemalan delegation that donated the nativity scene for the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, the The Ambassador of this Central American country pointed out that this initiative was born in 2021, “as a gift from the Catholic people of Guatemala to the Holy Father.” Likewise, Mr. Alfredo Vásquez said that, “after the approval of the proposal by the Governorate of the State of Vatican City, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala found in Catholic Events, the artistic staff to prepare it.”
Peace is a central theme in this birth
The Ambassador of Guatemala to the Holy See also said that, in this birth, the traditions, history and customs of the Guatemalan people have been embodied. “In our culture, angels are very important in births, obviously the center is the Child God, this Child God is important because it is the replica of a Child God from the family of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Miguel Ángel Asturias and another aspect of the birth is that in the center is the Monja Blanca, which is the identity of all Guatemalans, this flower, the Monja Blanca represents purity and peace, therefore, peace is a central theme in this birth because it is what it reflects our national flower.
An instrument of unity for the Guatemalan people
Finally, Mr. Alfredo Vásquez indicated that “Christmas is the most important date for all Guatemalans because we all live it as a family, to receive the Spirit of God with us.” “In Guatemala, the Christmas festivity involves all homes, and the tradition of births in our country has its origin in the 17th century, through the first saint we have, brother Pedro San José Betancort, whose sculpture is found in Castel Gandolfo , this Franciscan was the one who brought births to the country for the first time. Currently, there are a variety of births and it depends on the region, but this birth brings together several regions, but practically this birth is an instrument of unity for the Guatemalan people during these Christmas holidays.”
Opening on December 3
The traditional inauguration of the Bethlehem and the lighting of the Christmas tree will take place in Saint Peter’s Square on Saturday, December 3 at 5:00 p.m. The ceremony will be presided over by Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, in the presence of Sister Raffaella Petrini, Secretary General of the same Governorate. In the morning, the delegations from Sutrio, Rosello and Guatemala were received in audience by Pope Francis for the official delivery of the gifts.
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Christmas in the Vatican: A message of peace in the Guatemalan manger – Vatican News