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Pope Francis

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The Best Three Vatican Nativity Scenes

2014-12-25

The obelisk that stands tall in the middle of St. Peter's Square does not take all the visitors' attention during Christmas. 

Every December the Vatican sets its own crib. And even though for years only the same figures were used, some creativity was seen. 

Apparently, there was nothing special about the Vatican's Nativity Scene back in 2007: as always, Baby Jesus was surrounded by human size figures of Our Lady and St. Joseph.

But this scene was not taking place in Bethlehem...But in Nazareth. According to the Gospel of Matthew, St. Joseph lived in that city and went to live there with Our Lady when they got married.

The Vatican's Nativity Scene of 2010 was inspired in the Italian city of Matera. More than 100 figures were needed to represent the Birth of Jesus. The scenes of the Annunciation and the Visit of Our Lady to Elizabeth were also added.

On 2010, Pope Benedict XVI published his book on the childhood of Jesus. He said that the Gospel does not specificy if there were any animals in the crib were Jesus was born... On the Vatican's Nativity Scene of that year, they were slightly put  aside.

But maybe, the Vatican's best Nativity Scene ever was the first of Pope Francis' pontificate. Italian Saint Vicente Palloti designed it in 1842.

Everyone knows that the tradition of setting Nativity Scenes was first born in Italy, and within Italy, the Cribs that follow the Naples' tradition are said to be the best.

Thousands of people see the Vatican's Nativity Scene during Christmas. The Pope as well: he usually goes to St. Peter's Square to see it on December 31, when there's almost nobody in Rome.


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