Faith Matters

Tracing the steps of St Francis of Assisi, the father of the nativity scene

Among his many achievements, St Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in a cave in Greccio, Italy on Christmas Eve in 1223. Following a recent visit to Assisi, J. Anthony Gaughan explains how Pope Francis is a 'true modern son' of the great St Francis

The outdoor crib at the Adoration Convent, Falls Road, Belfast. The nativity tradition is said to originate with St Francis of Assisi. Picture by Ann McManus
J. Anthony Gaughan
THE popularity of Pope Francis has prompted a renewal of interest in St Francis. The saint was born in Umbria in Italy in 1182. His father was a wealthy merchant and Francis in his early years was [...]

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