Not just carols...but also opera! The Italian opera 'L'elisir d'amore,' 'The Elixir of Love,' inspired the Vatican Nativity Scene this year.
The best moment to appreciate its details is at night, when the lights of St. Peter's Square create a romantic and familiar atmosphere.
This year's Manger is a gift from the Italian city of Verona, very well known for its opera tradition. More than 20 human size figures re-create the Birth of Jesus. Among them, the shepherd offering Baby Jesus a sheep, a woman giving Our Lady some fruit and the Three Magi carrying all their gifts...
The faces of St. Joseph and Our Lady are delicate and have young people's features. Everything in the Manger is ready to welcome Baby Jesus, who following Italian tradition, won't be seen until Christmas Eve.
The authors of this manger call it 'The Opera's Nativity Scene.' 'Opera' also translates in Italian for 'work' and 'piece of art.' They want to highlight that Baby Jesus is the masterpiece God has given the world.