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Keeping the tradition

Local

Pope Francis has urged the display of nativity scenes both in the home and in public in an apostolic letter signed during his visit to the Italian town of Greccio.

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Greccio is the mountain village where St Francis of Assisi created the first crib scene in 1223 to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

As well as encouraging the family tradition of preparing the nativity scene, he also promoted “the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares”.

Pope Francis said memories of standing before the Christmas crèche as children should remind us “of our duty to share this same experience with our children and our grandchildren”.

“Beginning in childhood, and at every stage of our lives, it teaches us to contemplate Jesus, to experience God’s love for us, to feel and believe that God is with us and that we are with Him,” he wrote.

In the Adelaide Archdiocese, children brought their nativity scenes to Mass on the first Sunday of Advent for a blessing.

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