Christians throughout the world will start gathering today to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many of their homes and churches have had their nativity scenes (creche’s) set up in anticipation of the arrival of Christ, and the infant Jesus will soon be placed in the manager. We are all familiar with the Christmas Story, but may not all be familiar with how the tradition of a nativity scene came to be.
St. Francis of Assisi is given credit for being the first to recreate the Nativity scene. In 1223 in Greccio, Italy, after being inspired by his trip to the Holy Land, he received permission from the Pope to create a manger with hay and live animals in order to put the emphasis of Christmas back upon the coming of Christ rather than the secular traditions that were taking place. Word of this display spread quickly and within a few years churches, communities and families would follow in his footsteps by recreating the nativity scene in their homes and places of worship.
Today, all around the world you can find beautiful nativity scene’s reminding all of us that truly the greatest gift we have all received came to us on that Holy Night as a baby. May we always remember that undeserving gift of love and share it with one another.
May Peace. Hope. Love be with you and your families this Christmas Season.