Did you know that 2023 is the 800th year that the nativity scene has existed?
Many of us are familiar with the story of St. Francis of Assisi — the wealthy man who reinvented himself by giving away his riches and dedicating his life to God. St. Francis teaches all of us the true meaning of humility and is an example of how to act selflessly for others.
In the year 1223, St. Francis, along with the help of a wealthy friend, Giovanni Vellita, decided to recreate Jesus’ birth story with a pageant. With creativity, passion, and patience, the two men were able to recruit people and animals to represent the various roles in the nativity.
You can only imagine how wondrous it was to see what the birth of Jesus looked like for the first time!
For the rest of 2023, we would like to recognize St. Francis for initiating such a beloved tradition and for bringing to life one of the most amazing events in history.
Celebrate the 800th Anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi starting a Christmas Tradition creating the first Nativity Scene by displaying a statue of St. Francis of Assisi in your home, garden/outdoor living space, chapel, school and church!
*Prayer for your Manger*:
God of every nation and people,
From the very beginning of creation
You have made manifest your love:
When our need for a Savior was great
You sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace,
Justice, mercy, and love.
Lord, bless all who look upon this manger;
May it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus, and raise our thought to him,
Who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
And who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen