Pope commends crib as key to understanding Christmas

Pope Benedict XVI has suggested maintaining the tradition of the Christmas Crib as a weapon in the fight against the "commercial pollution" that threatens to change the authentic spirit of Christmas.

CLICK HEREDuring yesterday's Angelus, the Holy Father proposed a two-pronged attack that also included allowing oneself to be "accompanied by Mary" in prayer and love of Christ.

He acknowledged that Christmas has become more popular in recent years, but pointed out that the increased popularitiy has been as the expense of its Christian origin, and that its meaning is forgotten "even among Christians".

As for the crib, after years of neglect - and at times of direct opposition to the Christmas tree, considered "pagan" - he said that the depiction of the scene of the Nativity of Jesus with its backdrop and statues, is once again spreading in Italy and the Christian world.

While the crib's revival is often characterised by nostalgia and sentimentalism, the Pope said that it nevertheless helps "to understand the secret of the true Christmas, because it speaks of the humility and of the merciful goodness of Christ, who "although he was rich, because poor for us".

As per tradition, many girls and boys from Rome's oratories and parishes brought little statues of the Baby Jesus to St Peter's Square to be blessed by the pope. Benedict XVI said that through this gesture, he was invoking the "Lord's help for Christian families", that they may celebrate the coming Christmas with faith.

Pope: Mary and the crib against the commercial "pollution" of Christmas (AsiaNews.it 11/12/05)asib

Christmas Crib (request.org.uk)

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12 Dec 2005