Pope meets baby Jesus, carries lamb during visit to live Nativity scene
Jan. 7, 2014
Surrounded by cheese sellers, shoemakers and bleating, baying animals, Pope Francis immersed himself in a lively re-enactment of a special day in Bethlehem.
He even let a lamb rest on his shoulders and greeted a tiny baby named Francis, who played the part of Jesus, when he visited a live Nativity scene on Jan. 6 at the Church of St. Alfonso Maria dei Liguori on the northern outskirts of Rome.
More than 200 people took part in the re-enactment, wearing period costumes and playing the parts of villagers, artisans and street sellers. People lined the sides of the road leading to the church and watched from rooftops and balconies of surrounding buildings.
According to Vatican Radio, the pope greeted each of the participants and many of the parishioners who attended.
One special guest was waiting in a small hut: a 2-month-old baby named Francesco, who had been baptized that morning and played the role of Jesus in the pageant.
A group of men playing shepherds placed a small lamb on the pope's shoulders, according to the Italian Catholic daily, Avvenire. Children sang a Christmas song and gave the pope a bouquet of red roses.
At the end of his visit, the pope spoke about the importance of a New Year beginning with Jesus, who stays by everyone's side to overcome evil. He asked everyone to pray for children who would be born in 2014 and for all grandparents, who he said are the source of wisdom.
The priest who organizes the parish's live Nativity scene each year said he had invited the pope just a few days earlier and the pope had accepted immediately.
"The pope was so happy. He told me 'Keep it up. Don't get discouraged,'" Father Dario Criscuoli told journalists.
"Surely to put something like this together you have to be crazy, but that's OK," the priest said. "God likes some things that are crazy."
Source: Catholic News Service
Other international News
Pope institutes new celebration of Mary, Mother of Church
Pope Francis has decreed that the ancient devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title ...
March 4, 2018
Fr Cajetan appointed Interim Executive Secretary of FABC-OLF
The Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) Central Committee, at their meeting in Bangkok...
Feb. 24, 2018
Pope Francis Meets Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil
The encounter took place at the Pope’s Santa Marta residence, after which the missionary pr...
Sept. 13, 2017
We Regret to Announce the Sad Demise of His Eminence, Ivan Cardinal Dias
We Regret to Announce the Sad Demise of His Eminence, Ivan Cardinal Dias, Prefect Emeritus o...
June 19, 2017
OSWALD CARDINAL GRACIAS, ARCHBISHOP OF BOMBAY APPOINTED TO ROMAN ROTA
“The Holy Father has granted the title of Lawyer of the Roman Rota to Cardinal Oswald Graci...
Feb. 21, 2017