«The virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son. They shall call his name Immanuel, which is, being interpreted, "God with us” … Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king» (Mt 1,23. 2,1).
The scene for this year’s Nativity recalls the painting style of the Flemish School of the 1500’s.
The setting of Jesus’ birth is at the center, located in a covered patio by a building. On the ceiling, there are angels that witness the birth of Jesus. They call to mind the Annunciation to Mary and their message to Joseph in the dream, but they are also present to protect and herald the newborn Child.
At Christmas, God came to live amongst us, to share in the life of men and women. The sides of the Nativity have scenes depicting daily life: on the right side there is a carpenter’s work shop with its tools; on the left, an eatery where people normally gather, while the nearby road recalls the flight intoEgypt which Joseph and Mary will soon be forced to embark.
The scene is completed by a series of statuesque figures which date to the Nativity scene created in 1842 by Saint Vincent Pallotti for the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle, while other figures are of more recent date. This year theProvince of Trento has once again offered the life-size figures and the various objects that adorn the remainder of the Nativity.
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See, the state of Jalisco has generously donated the Angels by the artist Augustín Parra and the decorations of the Christmas tree and Nativity scene in the Paul VI Audience Hall.
The Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is designed and built by the Technical Services of the Governatorate of Vatican City State.