December 12, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The Mexican state of Michoacan gifted an ornate, handcrafted Nativity scene
to the Pope. The figurines of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the Three Wise Men adorned the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. They were all crafted to physically resemble Purepecha Indians, as well as their traditional attires.
Mariachis, representing the state of Michoacan, the artists that toiled to build the Nativity scene
, and even a cook specializing in regional food form the state, traveled to the Vatican to give it a taste of Mexican culture.
MONS. DIEGO MONROY
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico)
“It's very exciting to bring his Holiness our music, our songs, our dance, our food, it's what we are, what we feel. We are colorful people, full of life. Those colors come from our lives, from deep within us, lives that our very own Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, gave to us.”
The Pope approached the wax Nativity set, which was displayed on an area made to resemble a Mexican patio, to bless it.
But it was not the only gift for him. The Mexican travelers also brought another Nativity scene made with corn stalks, which was placed inside the Vatican Museums. They also brought a ceramic cross, and an indigenous depiction of Mary. But no taste of culture is complete without the traditional food from the region.
BENEDICTA ALEJO VARGAS
Traditional cook (Mexico)
“I feel very happy. In Mexico, we've been preparing everything for a long time now, the grinding stones, the griddles, the pots, and corn griddles. On Monday, here, I prepared the nixtamal to make the tortillas, and to mill the flour with the grinder. Yesterday we ground the blue corn. Now we're going to grind the white corn to make tortillas with both colored dough.”
On Thursday, the exhibition, titled “Mexican Christmas at the Vatican, Michoacan,” will open up its door. Since the date nearly coincides with the feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas, the Pope sent a special greeting to the Mexican community.