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Vatican light show highlights environmental message

A light show illuminates the facade and dome of St Peter's Basilica on Tuesday (CNS)

The opening of the Holy Year of Mercy culminated in a nature-inspired light show, with images of animals and the natural world projected onto the facade of St Peter’s Basilica yesterday evening.

Inspired by Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care of our Common Home, changing images of endangered animals and nature were projected on the basilica in a three-hour event entitled Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home.

The show featured images by renowned nature photographers and filmmakers including Joel Sartore from National Geographic.

A leopard is featured in the light show (CNS)
A leopard is featured in the light show (CNS)

Jim Yong Kim, president of World Bank Group, a sponsor of the show, told Vatican Radio: “We are honoured to be working with the Vatican to raise awareness of an issue so critical to our shared goal of ending extreme poverty.

He added: “The poorest people in the world are disproportionately affected by the effects of a warming climate and are most vulnerable to natural disasters and extreme weather. This impressive initiative will draw global attention to the urgency of tackling climate change for the sake of people and our planet.”

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, said the event was “intended to present the beauty of creation.”