Vatican City, Dec 7, 2018 / 09:30 am
As the Vatican illuminated its 65-foot Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square Friday, Pope Francis shared the deeper meaning found in the traditional festive spruce.
The signs and symbols found in Christmas traditions can "help us to contemplate the mystery of God made man to be close to each one of us," Francis said Dec. 7.
"The Christmas tree with its lights reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, the light of the soul that drives away the darkness of animosity and makes room for forgiveness," he continued.
The great height of this year's Christmas tree -- cut from Italy's Cansiglio forest -- symbolizes that the Son of God, who lowered himself in assuming the human condition to draw man up to himself, the pope explained.