Sunday, 27 December 2015
A nativity scene with a crib is the traditional special exhibition of the birth of Christ, Shown particularly during the Christmas season, of objects representing the scene of the birth of Jesus While the term "nativity scene" may be used of any representation of the very common subject of the Nativity of Jesus in art, it has a more specialized sense referring to seasonal displays, either using model figures in a setting or enactments called "living nativity scenes" in which real humans and animals participate
Nativity scenes exhibit figures representing the infant Jesus, his mother Mary, and Joseph. Other characters from the nativity story such as shepherds and sheep, and angels may be displayed near themanger in a barn (or cave) intended to accommodate farm animals, as described in the gospels of Luke.
A donkey and an ox are typically depicted in the scene, as well as the Magi and camels belonging to the Magi described in Matthew. Several cultures add other characters and objects that may be Biblical or not.
Often the Magi or wisemen from the east (three kings) are shown away from the crib as they arrived much later after the birth, several months infact.
It appears also the translation of the word "stable" was not exact since in that time the animals were kept indoors in the families main
living area. If the family had visitors they would honour them by allowing them to stay up stairs
If you were a member of the family you would stay with the rest of the family in with the animals.
Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 (a "living" one) intending thereby to cultivate the worship of Christ, having been inspired by his recent visit to the Holy Land where he had been shown Jesus's traditional birthplace. The scene's popularity inspired communities throughout Catholic countries to stage similar pantomimes.
Distinctive nativity scenes and traditions have been created around the world and are displayed during the Christmas season in churches, homes, shopping malls, and other venues.
Friday, 25 December 2015
Pope Francis backs peace efforts in Christmas Day message
Pope Francis said:-
"To our brothers and sisters, who in many parts of the world are being persecuted for their faith, may the child Jesus grant consolation and strength"
Pope Francis tackled war, terrorism and the migrant crisis in a wide-ranging Christmas message, calling for peace and reconciliation around the world.
The pontiff said he prayed for the success of recent UN resolutions for peace in Syria and Libya.
The Pope also condemned "brutal acts of terrorism", singling out France, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Mali.
Thousands of pilgrims turned out to see the address, known as "Urbi et Orbi" - to the city and the world.
Heavy security was in place around the Vatican as crowds lined the streets, as it has been since the 13 November Paris attacks carried out by Islamist militants.
This year also saw ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, while Europe grappled with record numbers of migrants arriving on its shores.
'Martyrs of today'
Pope Francis began by noting that "precisely where the incarnate son of God came into the world there was also plolitical tension "
The speech was delivered from the balcony overlooking St Peter's Square
He went on to urge Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct peace talks, and back international efforts to end "atrocities" in Libya and Syria.
Such acts, he said, "do not even spare the historical and cultural patrimony of entire peoples", a clear reference to the Islamic State group.
Speaking from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica, he described Christians being persecuted for their faith as "martyrs of today".
On the migrant crisis, the Pope said "may God repay all those, both individuals and states, who generously work to provide assistance and welcome to the numerous migrants and refugees".
He also referenced conflicts in Ukraine, Colombia, Yemen, Iraq, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Celebrating Mass on Christmas Eve, Pope Francis called on Roman Catholics not to be "intoxicated" by possessions.