Wednesday, December 07, 2011

O Albero: For Gubbio Mega-Tree, A PopeLighting

As has been feverishly anticipated in some parts over recent days -- in large part amid fresh questions of which device the Pope would use to do the honors -- B16 lit the "World's Biggest Christmas Tree" earlier tonight, tapping a tablet computer to flick on the 2,500 foot-high display of lights in the shape of a tannenbaum splayed on an Umbrian hillside.

In a brief greeting to the people of Gubbio before hitting the virtual "switch," the pontiff said that the lights of the tree represent those which "light the path of our life... especially in these days when many of us feel the weight of difficulties, problems, suffering, and a veil of darkness seems to envelop us.

"May each one of us be a light for those around us," Benedict added, encouraging his audience to "give a little more attention to the other, a little bit of love. Each little act of goodness is like a light on this big tree: together with all the other lights, it's able to brighten the darkness of the night, even the darkest ones.

"My first [Christmas] wish, then, is that in our outlook of mind and heart, we won't stop only at the horizon of this world, of material things, but might be a little more like this tree, that always points upward, toward God. He never forgets us, but asks that we, too, don't forget him either!"

Despite the camera for the video-link being placed directly in front of him, B16 kept looking toward the flat-panel TV placed at an angle from his desk, almost as if he was being filmed from that side.

And lastly, connected via internet to Gubbio's power grid, when the lighting device was brought forward after the pontiff's remarks, the shot was wide (and quick) enough that the make of the much buzzed-about tablet could not immediately be determined. (SVILUPPO: On further examination, the look of the case appears to be that the tablet used was, indeed, not the long-rumored iPad encore, but a Sony S.)

Here, video of the Pope's talk and the lighting (albeit tutto in italiano):

Tomorrow, of course, Benedict will lead Rome's traditional civic opening of the Christmas season as he presides at the annual feast-day homage to the statue of the Immaculate Conception in the Eternal City's Piazza di Spagna.

PHOTO: L'Osservatore/Pool