The Bethlehem light has become a symbol of peace and friendship. The idea was created in 1986 in Linz as part of the Christmas collection of Austrian radio and television to help disabled children. The Bethlehem light came first to the then Czechoslovakia in 1989 just after the Velvet Revolution, brought by the previously exiled scouts.
This year, scouts received the Bethlehem light in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Linz. This is the thirteenth time the Bethlehem light appears in the Czech Republic, and it was solemnly welcomed in the St. Vitus Cathedral. The new Apostolic Nuncio Charles Daniel Balvo was introduced to Prague Catholics for the first time, and on the third Sunday of Advent, he celebrated Mass in the Czech language – with careful pronunciation, he read the whole sermon and the texts of the prayers.
Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka noted that this was the first time in the history of the state that the Nuncio spoke Czech during a liturgy. Balva, a native of New York, who had worked in Nairobi before arriving in Prague, previously resided in the Czech Republic as an advisor to the Apostolic Nunciature. On Sunday after the Mass, the Vatican ambassador lit a candle in the transept of St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle.