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Benedict XVI receives nativity scene from homeland of Bavaria

Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, and Archbishop Georg Gänswein with the nativity scene on Dec. 8, 2021. / Diocese of Regensburg.

Vatican City, Dec 9, 2021 / 13:00 pm (CNA).

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI received a nativity scene from his homeland of Bavaria on Wednesday.

An association dedicated to maintaining and promoting nativity scenes presented Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict XVI’s personal secretary, with two cribs. One was for the retired German pope and the other for Pope Francis, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.

The presentation of the nativity scenes took place during a pilgrimage to Rome by members of the Verband Bayerischer Krippenfreunde, led by its president, Msgr. Martin Martlreiter.

The group was joined by Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg, a diocese in Bavaria, a federal state in the southeast of Germany known as a Catholic heartland.

The nativity scenes were presented to Gänswein at the offices of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

Voderholzer met with Benedict XVI on Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, at the Vatican.

Regensberg diocese posted photographs on its Twitter account showing the 94-year-old pope emeritus seated between Voderholzer and Gänswein, who was holding one of the two nativity scenes.

Benedict XVI was born on April 16, 1927, a Holy Saturday, in the Bavarian village of Marktl am Inn.

Members of the Bavarian association also took part in the annual “100 Nativity Scenes at the Vatican” exhibit, held under a part of Bernini’s famous colonnade, which embraces St. Peter’s Square.

“Thanks to the support of our Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, we were able to participate in the international nativity exhibition under Bernini’s colonnades this year,” said Martlreiter.

The nativity scenes presented to the pope and pope emeritus were snow-covered.

“This representation naturally has a very special meaning in the countries north of the Alps,” Martlreiter said, referring to Bavaria’s location beyond the 750-mile long mountain range at the top of Italy.