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Vatican’s Nativity Scene features Nine Filipino Statues

During a solemn evening ceremony last Dec. 24th in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square, the nativity scene or locally called as ‘belen’ was unveiled and nine statues were ‘Filipinos’ as traditional figures of the Holy Family. Dressed in colorful native attire and playing musical instruments, these portray the joyful spirit of the Philippine Christmas which is known as the “longest and most festive celebration in the world”.

Kublai Ponce-Millan, the Filipino sculptor who designed the statues said these represent the different indigenous groups of the Philippines in a festive celebration of faith, music, food and family on the occasion of the birth of Jesus. Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, Mercedes A. Tuason who is present during the event thanked the Governorate of the Vatican City State for giving the Philippines a special place in the center of the Roman Catholic Church’s celebration of the birth of Christ this year.

The Philippines is the first country outside Italy to be given a major part in the Vatican nativity scene. This event was attended by ecclesiastical authorities of the Holy See and civil authorities from the City and Province of Rome. At 6pm sharp, Pope Benedict XVI lighted a candle for peace while watching the unveiling ceremony from his apartment window. He blessed the crowd with the light of a single candle amid the darkness. It was in 1982 when this tradition started by then Pope John Paul II.

Source: Vatican’s nativity scene featuring Filipino figures unveiled from CBCP News

Screenshot from  Rome Reports Philippines helps with Vatican Nativity Scene in Youtube

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