DEVA, Romania, NOV. 28, 2001 ( For the first time, a non-Catholic majority country is supplying the Christmas tree for St. Peter´s Square.

The white fir from Romania was cut and prepared for transportation to Rome on Tuesday.

In the village of Tulghes in Romania´s Eastern Carpathians, at an altitude of about 1,800 meters (5,940 feet), the huge fir was selected from among 400 other trees, and carefully cut by 12 experienced workers. Mircea Dusa, prefect of surrounding Harghita county, supervised the process.

The tree will be transported by truck to Rome, where it will be presented to John Paul II by Romanian President Ion Iliescu.

Romanian religious and civil authorities regard this donation as a follow-up to the 1999 papal visit to their country, and as another boost to ecumenical dialogue. Romania is about 70% Orthodox.


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