The lights glowing on the Christmas tree in St Peter's Square, like Christmas lights everywhere, are reminders that Jesus is the light of the world, Pope Francis said, reports The Catholic News Service.
While he did not attend the Vatican's tree-lighting ceremony on Friday, the Pope personally thanked the German donors and their Czech neighbours for the tree during an audience earlier in the day.
The 82-feet-tall tree was a gift of the German city of Waldmunchen, but it grew just over the border in the Czech Republic. Mayors from Bavaria in Germany and Bohemia in the Czech Republic joined hands to light the tree.
'This tree is international,' the Pope told the 350 pilgrims who traveled to the Vatican for the tree-lighting ceremony.
The Gospel story of Jesus' birth tells how the shepherds tending their flocks nearby were surrounded by a 'great light,' the Pope said. 'Today, too, Jesus continues to dispel the darkness of error and sin and brings humanity the joy of blazing divine light.'
'We should let ourselves be enveloped by the light of his truth so that the joy of the Gospel would fill the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus, he said.