Christmas Has Mexican Look in Paul VI Hall

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 17, 2009 ( Christmas decorations in Paul VI Hall have a Mexican flair this year, with a 20-foot Nativity scene and Christmas tree.

The decorations were presented to Benedict XVI on Wednesday during the general audience held in the hall.

The president of the Mexican episcopal conference, Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlanepantla, told ZENIT that «I could see that the Holy Father was very content as he contemplated the Nativity.»

The spirit of Mexico also spreads beyond Paul VI Hall this year. A photo exhibit with 20 one-meter religiuosly-inspired scenes of Mexico is adorning Via della Conciliazione.

«Christmas is a family holiday, a holiday that brings together family members, and there is an exchange of gifts. […] We remember that the greatest gift that the Lord has given us in his son. Thus, it is a very important moment of evangelization,» the archbishop said.

In 2007, Paul VI Hall was also decorated with gifts from Mexico. That year, the Nativity scene and tree adornments were donated by the state of Jalisco, in the context of the 15th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See.

[Reporting by Mercedes de la Torre]
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