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Crowds in St. Peter’s Square pray Rosary, view ecological show projected on basilica

December 09, 2015

On the evening of December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the Holy Rosary and watched a light show projected on St. Peter’s Basilica.

The light show, entitled “Fiat Lux [Let There Be Light]: Illuminating Our Common Home,” featured the sights and sounds of animals and other natural scenes. Under the auspices of the World Bank Group’s Connect4Climate, the show was sponsored by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan, Inc., as well as by the Li Ka Shing Foundation (named after Asia’s wealthiest person) and the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea.

“It is an immense honor to participate in the partnership that is bestowing this gift to Pope Francis, with whom our founder Paul Allen shares a common vision for the protection of our treasured natural world,” said Carole Tomko, vice president of Vulcan, Inc. “It is our hope that this beautiful and contemporary work of public art will inspire citizens of the world to join together in a moment of compassion and to activate a global movement to protect humankind, our common home and precious endangered species.”

“This event, inspired by the most recent encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, is intended to present the beauty of creation, especially on the occasion of the Twenty-first United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21),” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, said four days before the show. “I can assure everyone that it is a unique event for its genre and for the fact that it is being displayed for the first time on such a significant backdrop.”

Fiat Lux’s website states that the show seeks to “inspire change around the climate crisis … At this moment, COP 21 delegates in Paris are deliberating groundbreaking climate reform. How will you make a difference?”

The site’s homepage invites viewers to “demand climate reform” and “make personal change.” The “demand climate reform” button leads to a petition addressed to “President Obama and the leaders of China, European Union, India and Russia,” who “represent the world’s five largest carbon emitters” and “therefore hold the future of countless species in your hands.”


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