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Blessings for Christmas and in the New Year
December 20, 2017 8:40 AM

As we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas, may we experience the gift of Jesus and share that Gift with others now and throughout the New Year.

This Nativity set, created in the studio of German artist Helmut Bourger in 2006, is displayed throughout the year here in our St. Francis of Assisi Church. All the clay statues are colored in neutral earth tones as a reminder of the universality of people. 



 


Christmas in Assisi, Italy
December 20, 2017 8:16 AM

In Greccio, Italy (1223), St. Francis of Assisi welcomed his Franciscan Brothers and other villagers to a cave for a Mass where bread was blessed, broken, and shared amid a celebration recalling Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem – a word that means ‘house of bread.’ Historians state that some who were present saw the Christ Child asleep in a crib. From this event comes the tradition of a Nativity set displayed in churches and homes.

Bethlehem, house of bread, is symbolic: as animals come to a manger for food, Mary lays Jesus, our food to satisfy our spiritual hunger, in the manger. Bread is one of life’s most common things and God wanted His Son available to everyone. Jesus' birth was announced to shepherds, the common men, but not to King Herod and Jesus' cradle was a manger, an animal’s feeding trough in a stable.

Jesus said, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6:35)

This 2006 video features images of Nativities in Assisi, Italy.

 



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Hospital Sisters of St. Francis 4 849 LaVerna Road, Springfield, IL 62707 (217)522-3386
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