St. Francis and the Christmas Crèche 

By Campus Life and Ministry Office

In the year 1223, St. Francis wanted to celebrate Christmas in a new way by re-creating the stable of Bethlehem. St. Francis found a cave near the town square and with permission from the Pope he prepared a manger, brought hay, an ox and an ass and called everybody together to celebrate Mass.

All were amazed at the scene before them.

The live Christmas crib made them see the poverty and humility of God.

It was a beautiful starry night. St. Francis stood before the manger, radiant with joy.

He proclaimed the Gospel and preached a touching sermon, describing the first Christmas and the humble surroundings of Mary and Joseph at the nativity of Son of God, whom he lovingly referred to as the Child of Bethlehem. When he finished preaching, he turned to the crèche and saw a little baby lying on the stone altar; and he embraced the child with both his arms. The people remained after Mass and prayed.

Our own Nativity scenes which we place under our Christmas trees are a visible reminder of the Incarnation. May we never forget to see in our hearts the little Babe of Bethlehem, who came to save us from sin.