December 21, 2009.
The ornaments are hung. The star is shinning and the lights are on!
This year two children had the honor of flipping the switch that lit this 6 ton Christmas tree. The tree, which stands almost 30 meters tall, was a gift from the Walloon region in Belgium.
Belgium pilgrims including a band travelled to Rome for the ceremony. A ceremony that was well attended despite the chilly weather.
“When I saw the picture of the Vatican I never expected to see the Christmas tree.”
“When I think of a Christmas Tree I think about a Nativity scene it has a spiritual essence.”
Pope John Paul II started the tradition to have the seasons two greatest symbols stand side by side in the square back in 1982.
Following another tradition, once the tree comes down it will be used to make toys for children the proceeds will go to the poor.
But until then, this tree that comes from a dark forest in Belgium, is now lighting up faces and lifting spirits thousands of miles away from home in St. Peter’s Square.