The History of Nativity Scenes
The first nativity scene was created at the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in 10th century in the city of Rome. This local tradition soon became popular at many other Churches across Italy and abroad, with each Church constructing decorative mangers with gold, silver, jewels, and precious gems.
In 1224, St. Francis of Assisi decided he would remedy these ornate misrepresentations, by creating a manger scene that was true to the Biblical account of Christ's birth. St. Francis of Assisi's creation was called a crèche. St. Francis used hay, carved figures, and live animals, for his recreation of Christ's birth and set up the first authentic manager scene in the village of Greccio. St. Francis's vision, captured the spirit and the story of Christ's birth better than any other ornate display of that day.
The popularity of St. Francis's crèche spread throughout the world and even today, you can find "Live Nativity" scenes as they are called now, in many cities throughout the world.
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