years a Nativity Scene has been set up inside St Peter's Basilica
at the Altar of the Presentation of Mary. Ever since the earliest
days of Christianity, the Nativity of Jesus Christ has been one
of the scenes most frequently depicted in Christian works of art.
Sarcophagi dating from Roman times found in the catacombs bear
sculpted reliefs of the first Christmas and the Visit of the Three
At Christmas we contemplate God made man, divine glory hidden
beneath the poverty of a Child wrapped in swaddling clothes
and laid in a manger; the Creator of the Universe reduced
to the helplessness of an infant. Once we accept this paradox,
we discover the Truth that sets us free and the Love that
transforms our lives.
ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI CHRISTMAS