An 11-year-old Austrian boy who last summer saved the life of a young relative lit a towering &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/28/24666.html' target=_blank>Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square on Saturday.
Earlier, Pope Benedict XVI thanked Austrian pilgrims for the gift of the more than 30-meter (100-foot) -tall fir from Upper Austria. Benedict, as had been expected, did not attend the lighting ceremony.
The tree, along with a nativity scene, will be the Vatican's centerpiece for tourists and pilgrims who will flock there during the holidays.
A choir sang in German as the tree, from the town of Eferding, was bathed in yellowish light just after sunset.
The tree was lit by Juergen Lengauer, 11, who last summer saved his 2-year-old cousin from drowning in a pool.
The tree was hauled into place by a crane last week.