One of the most beloved annual Christmas traditions at Graymoor is our Christmas Around the World Crèche Display. This celebration began with a collection of crèches from the late Father Joseph P. Egan, SA, and has evolved into a massive compilation of over 100 crèches from around the world.
It is fitting that we host such a spectacular event because it was St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan order, who created the very first nativity scene. In 1223, while visiting the town of Greccio during Christmas, St. Francis was inspired to bring the story of Christ’s birth to life for the people of the town. He prepared a manger for Our Lord, brought in animals, and held the Midnight Mass service in a cave on the side of a mountain.
St. Bonaventure wrote that, “The man of God [St. Francis] stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem.”
The visual of Christ’s birth was so powerful that it awakened the faith of the town’s people and led to many miracles.
As we host our Christmas Around the World Crèche Display at Graymoor, we pray that each individual that comes to visit will have the same type of joyful encounter with Christ that the people of Greccio did. It is our hope that the international collection of crèches made from a variety of materials as diverse as straw, wood, ceramic, stone, paper—even elk horn will inspire our visitors to envision the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem in a new and profound way.
We would love for you to join us from November 20, 2017 – January 14, 2018 for this free exhibit that is open to all ages. The display, in the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center’s fifth floor hallway and in the Library, is best viewed during daylight hours.
We invite you to make the Christmas Around the World Crèche Display at Graymoor one of your most beloved holiday traditions!