There was a great expectation at St. Peter's Square to witness this moment.
The Christmas tree lighting ceremony in St Peter' Square officially marks the start of Christmas at the Vatican. Representatives of Verona and Calabria attended the ceremony. They are the two Italian regions who donated the Tree and Nativity Scene this year.
For many, the lighting ceremony was a big surprise.
"It was our first visit here and it was beautiful and fascinating. We're very excited.”
"It was a very simple ceremony that shows the new spirit of the Pope.”
"We didn't know about the ceremony. It's our first time here at St. Peter's Square. It was very nice.”
John Paul II began the tradition of setting up the two major symbols of Christmas in St. Peter's Square back in 1982.