2012-12-07 L’Osservatore Romano
It left Pescopennataro on Wednesday afternoon, even while snow was blanketing in white the roofs and streets of the town. For the tree given to the Holy Father this year by the small town of the Molise in the Province of Isernia, everything resembled a classic Christmas scene. The impressive specimen, a silver fir – 25 metres tall, its crown 12 metres wide and weighing 9.5 tons — arrived in St Peter's Square in the early hours this morning, Thursday, 6 December, and was set up beside the crib that is being arranged in the centre of Bernini's colonnade. The tree was taken last Sunday from the forest known as the “Bosco degli abeti soprani”, [wood of the soprano firs], listed among the sites of importance to the community and which covers more than 3,000 hectares (about 1,000 of which are pure fir) in the upper Molise, between the municipalities of Sant’Angelo del Pesco, Agnone and Pescopennataro itself. The tree – wrapped in a net to protect the branches – was lifted by a crane provided by the regional civil defence on to an articulated lorry about 30 metres long on which it travelled through the night between Wednesday and Thursday before reaching the Vatican. After the manoeuvres to put it into position and raise it, the Christmas tree is to be decorated on Monday, 10 December. The Technical Services of the Governorate of Vatican City State will use 1,800 coloured balls to decorate it and for the illumination, complying with the principles of energy-saving, 2,500 white and yellow led. The lighting ceremony is scheduled for Friday, 14 December.