VATICAN CITY–– With a tap on an iPad, Pope Benedict XVI will light the world’s largest electronic Christmas tree in the Italian town of Gubbio without having to leave his home in Vatican City.
The City of Gubbio and the Diocese of Gubbio announced at a news conference Nov. 12 that the pope would light the tree via a video link set up by the Vatican Television Center. The tree-lighting ceremony takes place on the evening of Dec. 7, the eve of the Immaculate Conception.
From his apartment in Vatican City, the pope will turn on the tree using an application on the iPad 2. Before lighting the tree, the pope will send a video message to the citizens of Gubbio thanking the volunteers on the committee who organized the event and who have been responsible for setting up the tree for decades.
The electronic tree extends more than 2,000 feet upon the face of Mount Igino near Gubbio, and uses more than 25,000 feet of electrical cable. Built in 1981, it was recognized in 1991 by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest Christmas tree and stays lit until the Epiphany.