BETHLEHEM, December 6, 2014 – (WAFA) – A Vatican envoy arrived Saturday noon to Bethlehem to attend the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Cardinal and Archbishop of Umbria Gualtiero Bassette convoy arrived at the Manger Square in Bethlehem coming from St. Saviour’s Convent in Jerusalem to attend the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Cardinal Bassette was received by Palestinian officials, including Minister of tourism and Antiquities Rula Maayah, Governor of Bethlehem Jebrin al-Bakri, Presidential Advisor for Christian Affairs Ziad al-Bandak, Mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun and a host of other clergy and representatives of the Catholic parish.
Upon his arrival, Cardinal Bassette entered into the Church of St. Catherine and then visited the Nativity Grotto.
Expressing his delight about this visit, Cardinal Bassette said: “As I am visiting Bethlehem, which is flooded with joy and delight, I feel pleased with this warm and cordial reception amidst this lovely and joyful atmosphere.”
The lighting of the Christmas tree would be led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah at 6:00 p.m.
It is expected that the ceremony would be attended by thousands of Christian Palestinians from across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, together with a host of consul-generals and ambassadors.