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Rome Reports

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Three main ideas in pope's letter about nativity scene


In his new papal document, “Admirabile signum,” the pope sends three key messages to Christians.

1. DON'T LOSE THE TRADITION

The first point is the invitation to keep the tradition of the nativity scene strong, ensuring it “never be lost.” Pope Francis says he believes it will be “rediscovered and revived,” in places where it has fallen into disuse. He's also in favor of placing this scene not only in homes but also in workplaces, schools, squares, hospitals and even prisons. 

2. EVANGELIZATION

The pope recalled the positive effect the first portrayal of Jesus' birth had on history, the one made by St. Francis in the 13th century. He remembered what the chroniclers of the time said: after contemplating the manger scene in the grotto of Greccio, people returned home filled with joy. With this simple display, St. Francis did a great deal of evangelization. 

3. THE MESSAGE OF CHRISTMAS

In the rest of his letter, the pope reflects on the messages the nativity scene sends to each individual Christian. He offers a short meditation on a few key Christmas moments. For example, saying each Christian is to preach the Gospel is to remember the arrival of the magi or shepherds.

Pope Francis shows how it is good to contemplate Jesus' birth in order to better understand God's way. It is a style he says is shocking and seemingly impossible to us since in the “humility of God, He became man in order to encounter every man and woman.” 

Javier Romero
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski