Currents News Staff
This year’s Nativity display in the Vatican comes from Peru, and is capturing the attention of pilgrims traveling to Rome from around the word. But it’s not the only Nativity display in St. Peter’s Square.
There are more than a hundred others under its colonnade as part of a special exhibit organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization: 100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican. The exhibit shows unique Nativity displays from 15 countries, such as Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Venezuela. Each one represents a different culture and a distinct way of celebrating Christmas.
“These 15 countries wanted to represent the Nativity as it is done in their culture, in their own tradition,” said Father Ivan Ricupero from the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization. “They are Nativity displays of varying natures, made from different materials, very particular and some are very precious.”
They come in all shapes and sizes: from occupying the front of a bus, to fitting inside a coffee pot. The Vatican firefighters submitted a Nativity scene inside of a fire extinguisher, while another is made entirely of dark chocolate.
There is even a section dedicated to Nativity displays made by children.
“When someone asks us and we tell them that these are not all made from, let’s say professionals or by artists, they are truly shocked and amazed, by the beauty and by the message they manage to convey,” said Father Ivan.
Over 45,000 people have already visited the exhibit, which aims to be a source of hope at Christmas during another year marked by the pandemic.
“This is just a small way of helping to sustain, accompany, and maybe why not even revive, the faith of many brothers and sisters who in the face of the difficulties we are experiencing have a wavering faith,” said Father Ivan.
Each display has its own story and is a unique testament to the spirit of the season, adding over one hundred reasons that Christmas in the Vatican is like nowhere else.