Thursday, December 22, 2005

The History of the Creche

One of the most beautiful Christmas traditions is setting up a creche during the Advent season. A creche is a model of the scene at the manger on the first Christmas in the stable at Bethlehem. A creche can be a small model, set up in the home or a large scene set up at a church or lawn.The word creche is from the French word for manger.

The French word comes from the Italian word Greccio. Greccio was the town where the first manger scene was set up by St. Francis of Assisi, in 1223. Before that time, many churches had built mangers, but these early mangers were covered with gold, silver, and jewels. They were much fancier than the original manger in which the Christ child was laid.

St. Francis wanted people to remember that Jesus was born in a humble stable. He asked a farmer friend of his to help by bringing an ox, a donkey, a manger and some straw to a nearby cave. On Christmas Eve, St.Francis and the people of Greccio met in this cave. By candlelight,they acted out the story of Jesus' birth.

(Source: Bill Petro)

Blessing of the Christmas creche

2 Comments:

Blogger Carmel said...

I had no idea that it was St.Francis who set up the first creche. I love the creche and have one thanks to Jonathan, it's really nice to have it because it brings the meaning of Christmas to us and yes that Jesus was born in a stable!
PS, the more I learn of ST.Francis the more I like him
Merry Christmas to you and your families. xxx

4:52 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thank you! Have a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with joy.

9:31 PM  

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