This year the Vatican is reclaiming the traditional Judeo-Christian symbol of the rainbow, decorating the enormous Christmas tree in Saint Peter’s Square in rainbow colors as a presage of the coming of the Messiah rather than a symbol of the LGBT movement.
This year’s Vatican Christmas Tree has been adorned with rows of ceramic spheres in the colors of the rainbow, recalling God’s promise of peace with the world after the great flood described in the book of Genesis.
Every year the Vatican places a huge Christmas tree in Saint Peter’s Square directly in front of the Vatican Basilica. The tradition of erecting a Christmas Tree as well as the life-size Nativity Scene in the Square dates back to 1982, when Pope John Paul II brought the northern European symbol of Christmas to the Vatican.
Father John Paul Wauck, a professor at Rome’s Santa Croce University, told Breitbart News that the rainbow colors in this year’s Christmas tree are “a tremendous reminder of the true Biblical meaning of the rainbow: it’s a sign of God’s covenant with humanity and with all created things.”
Though the rainbow symbol has been co-opted by the LGBT movement, it was long before an important symbol in the Judeo-Christian world, with connections to the feast of Christmas.
“As a celestial sign of God’s love for mankind,” Wauck said, “the rainbow is a forerunner of the Star of Bethlehem, which announces the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who came to bring peace on earth.”
“Ever since the time of Noah, God had been preparing His plan of peace, and every rainbow was an ongoing reminder of that plan, which would be fulfilled in Jesus,” he said.
This year, the Vatican Christmas tree is more colorful than ever before, and some of the spheres on the tree have been made by children undergoing treatment at the oncology departments at Italian hospitals.
Pope Francis met with a group of these children in the Vatican on Friday morning, to thank them for their contribution to the Vatican Christmas.
Many have expressed their joy that the Vatican is “taking back the rainbow,” since it is too important a symbol to become reduced to the logo of a special interest group.
Father Edward McNamara, dean of the Theology School at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, told Breitbart News that more than anything else, the rainbow “is primarily a biblical symbol and a sign of God’s fidelity to his promise.”
McNamara said that the rainbow is a particularly appropriate image for the Jubilee year of mercy, since is “a symbol of pardon and reconciliation given to the human race by God.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome