Vatican City, Dec 16, 2003 / 22:00 pm
At the end of today’s weekly general audience, during his multi-language greetings to the faithful, Pope John Paul expressed special thanks to the people of the northern Italian region of Valle D’Aosta, accompanied by their bishop and civil authorities, for the Christmas trees that they provided for the Vatican.
A choir and musicians from the region entertained the Pope and the pilgrims present at the audience.
“You came to present me,” said the Pope, “with the immense tree that has been placed in St. Peter’s Square and the trees set up in this audience hall and in other areas of the apostolic palaces and the Vatican. These are a gift from your autonomous region of Valle D’Aosta. Thank you very much!”
“I am especially grateful to all those who made possible this very welcome Christmas gift which will remind visitors and pilgrims of the birth of Jesus, light of the world,” he concluded.