The Story of the First Nativity Scene

Ahead of his return to the hermitage, two weeks before Christmas, Francis asked his friend, Lord of Greccio Giovanni Velita, to prepare a cave with live animals and a hay-filled manger.

The friar had, during his audience with the pope, already received permission to stage the scene of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

According to the first biographer of St. Francis, Brother Thomas of Celano, the friar desired to “represent the birth of that Child in Bethlehem in such a way that with our bodily eyes we may see what he suffered for lack of the necessities of a newborn babe and how he lay in manger between the ox and ass.”

Source: ACIAfrica

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