Tag Archives: Christmas tree

Significance of the Christmas Tree

Vatican Chrsitmas tree.jpegMy mother and the neighbors have had the Christmas tree up for a week. We’ve got three small trees. In fact, my neighborhood is alighted with Christmas lights. New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit last week with several stars entertaining us with “Christmas songs.” The Vatican put its Christmas tree, a gift from the good people of Bolzano, Italy (a German speaking of Italy where Pope Benedict has vacationed in the past) A little too early for my tastes. SO, it MUST be Christmas time!!! What does it all mean? But what does the Christmas tree stand for? How ought the Christmas tree be interpreted by the Catholic?

The Christmas tree began as a reminder of the tree of life and the life-giving cross of Jesus Christ. When you see the evergreen Christmas tree you will also see the life-giving tree of life on which Jesus hung as our crucified savior.
For those interested, a short history is helpful.

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The Christmas tree points to the Divine Mystery

Vatican Christmas Tree.jpgThe Pope received the bishop and a delegation from Wallonia, from
where this year’s Vatican Square Christmas tree came from, to say thank you for gift on behalf of the Church. He said, “The role
of this tree is similar to that of the shepherds who, watching through the
shades of night, saw how the darkness was illuminated with the message of the
angels. … Standing next to the nativity scene the tree indicates, in its own
particular way, the great mystery present in the poor and simple grotto. It
proclaims the arrival of the Son of God to the inhabitants of Rome, to pilgrims
and to everyone who sees St. Peter’s Square on television. Though this tree
your land, and the faith of the Christian communities in your region, greet the
Christ Child.” (Benedict XVI)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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