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STORY: As Pope Francis prepares for his first Christmas mass as the leader Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday, a ceremony to inaugurate the official Vatican nativity scene was held outside St. Peter's Basilica.
The life-size nativity scene in the center of St. Peter's Square was unveiled during a ceremony that included musical and theatrical performances.
This year's nativity scene was donated by the Archdiocese of Naples.
Like much of the Christian world, Francis has a hectic Christmas holiday season planned, with the highlight being the Christmas Eve Mass in the Papal Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica - the first time for Francis, who became pope in March.
At noon on Christmas Day, Francis will deliver his Christmas message as well as the special "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and world) blessing given by the pope on such significant occasions as Easter and Christmas.
On New Year's Eve is the celebration of the first Vespe