Since Thursday 5 December at 4.30 pm, the candles of the Vatican’s Christmas tree are shining for Caritas Baby Hospital (CBH). The spruce of 26 meters originates from the northern Italian Asiago plateau and was dedicated to CBH by the community, the parish and schools of the Asiago region. The lightning of the tree for CBH shall draw attention to the difficult living conditions that the children of Bethlehem are facing. CBH, an oasis of peace in the continuing tense situation in the Middle East, guarantees comprehensive medical care for sick Palestinian children, regardless of their origin or religion.
The tradition of putting up a Christmas tree at St. Peter's Square dates back to 1982. At the time, a Polish farmer donated a large spruce to Pope John Paul II. Since then, the Pope receives a Christmas tree from a different country every year. This year’s Christmas tree will shine a light in front of the St. Peter's Basilica until 12 January 2020.