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 CNS Story:

POPE-TREE Dec-8-2011 (200 words) With photo. xxxi

Pope taps tablet, lights world's largest Christmas 'tree'

By Kristin Gobberg
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI tapped a tablet computer and successfully lit the world's largest electronic Christmas "tree" located in the Italian town of Gubbio.

Before turning on the tree with a tap on the Sony S Tablet, the pope addressed the citizens of Gubbio via a video link from his apartment in Vatican City Dec. 7, calling on Christians to serve as a light in the lives of others.

In his talk, the pope said that just as the tree design in Gubbio was made up of tiny individual lights, each person needs to bring light to the people and places in their lives, to their family, workplace, neighborhood, town or city.

"Every small act of kindness is like a light in this big tree: together with the other lights it can bring light to even the darkest of nights," the pope said.

Located on the face of Mount Ignio, the electronic tree extends more than 2,000 feet and contains more than 900 lights, illuminating the side of the mountain.

Since 1981, it has been erected by volunteers from Gubbio. The Diocese of Gubbio announced Nov. 12 that Pope Benedict would light the tree this year.

END


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