During the Wednesday General Audience this week, Pope Benedict XVI blessed a Mexican nativity scene on display in the Paul VI Hall for an art show inaugurated that morning at the Vatican.
Created by Agustin Parra, the nativity scene consists of eleven hand-made wood carvings representing St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, the tree Wise Men, two shepherds, an angel, a cow and a lamb.
The Holy Father greeted a delegation from Mexico led by the wife of President Felipe Calderon, Margarita Zavala, who was accompanied by Mexico’s ambassador to the Holy See, Luis Felipe Bravo Mena, and the governor of Jalisco, Emilio Gonzalez Marquez.
A Christmas tree decorated with more than 400 ceramic pieces painted by hand is also on display. The tree is topped with a giant star with engravings that read “Gloria in excelsis Deo” and “Mexico.”
In addition to the art expo, a series of photos is also on display, including photos of Mexican children wearing the traditional attire of the region of Jalisco.
The art and photo expos are part of an initiative commemorating the 15th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic ties between the Holy See and Mexico.
The nativity scene will be displayed in St. Peter’s Square beginning on December 24.