The yearly Urbi et Orbi will be given by Pope Francis on Sunday 21 April 2019. St. Peter’s Square in Rome will then be full of Dutch flowers and plants again. The flowers will travel to Italy with the help of arranger Paul Deckers and the Dutch growers. The main flower this year is Strelitzia.
Paul Deckers provides the designs and chooses the colors in consultation with the Vatican. The Dutch growers will do their utmost in the coming weeks to ensure a beautiful sea of flowers in St. Peter's Square.
Beautiful jungle plant
The main flower last year was Cymbidium. This flower will also be incorporated in the design. Why did Paul choose Strelitzia? "It's a beautiful jungle plant with fabulous colors. Orange and blue add a powerful effect and a regal touch." Paul has discovered that Strelitzia has a link with the Christian faith. "The plant represents immortality and freedom. The flames in the plant symbolize the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles. Beautiful, isn't it? I'm going to tell that story as soon as I'm back in the Vatican." Grower Roland Duyvesteijn delivers the flowers that Paul will be using, along with the other Strelitzia growers.
The entire Dutch floriculture industry, including Royal FloraHolland, is involved in this form of promotion of the Netherlands. "It is fantastic promotion for our product," says Deckers. The Dutch floriculture industry has been providing the floral decorations for the Easter service at St. Peter's Square in Rome for more than thirty years. Pope Francis will give the Easter blessing Urbi et Orbi amidst the beautiful flowers on Sunday 21 April 2019. The flowers and plants will travel to Rome from Keukenhof on Tuesday 16 April 2019.
Source: Royal FloraHolland