800th Anniversary of the

Christmas Nativity Scene


Celebration in San Diego!

In the year 1223, St. Francis of Assisi prepared a live Nativity scene near the village of Greccio, Italy. St. Francis wanted the People of God to experience the humanity of Jesus and the poor circumstances of his birth in a stable in Bethlehem. Beginning with his humble birth, Jesus lived a fully human life, in order to show us how to do the same.

In November, the Franciscan Family organized two prayer services across San Diego County to highlight this anniversary. (See photos and homily below.)

As you contemplate the Nativity scene in your home, or another one elsewhere, we invite you to reflect on the roots of this beloved tradition.

More than just a representation, Greccio became a place of spiritual and physical healing for both humans and animals who came in contact with that place and the straw that was placed in the manger that night.

Fr. Mike’s Greccio Homily from the Prayer Service

800th Anniversary of Greccio Worship Aid


O Antiphons

Bulletin Anouncements

The Franciscan Family


Story of the Christmas Creche

Have you ever seen a Christmas creche? Perhaps your family displays a Christmas nativity scene featuring the baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem each year. Do you know where this custom came from?

800 years ago, a little town was tormented with violence and power struggles. This little town was Assisi. Assisi was a violent place: there was violence through class struggles in Assisi itself, wars with a rival town, wars with Islam in the form of the Crusades.  Travel was dangerous.

But despite the violence, there was also a hunger to follow Jesus Christ, not necessarily by living in a monastery but in day-to-day life in the real world. This was the radical life that Francis of Assisi had chosen after his conversion.