December 9, 2023
The inauguration of the nativity scene and the lighting of the Christmas tree will take place at 5 pm on Saturday, December 9.
The life-size terracotta figures will represent the Greccio grotto, which Pope Francis visited in 2019. The crib will feature a Franciscan figure celebrating mass in the presence of St. Francis carrying Baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Next to him will be St. Joseph in adoration, as well as a donkey and an ox.
The display i set on an octagonal base symbolizing the 800th anniversary of this event. It is intended to recall the rock of the Greccio sanctuary, where Saint Francis created the first Nativity Scene following a visit to the Holy Land.
Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, and Sister Raffaella Petrini, Secretary General of the Governorate, will attend the ceremony.