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Nativity Scenes

According to some sources, St. Francis of Assisi began this tradition in 1224 when he set up a nativity scene for use in a religious play. In this original instance, actual farm animals were brought in and real shepherds donned the costumes of Joseph, Mary and, of course, the shepherds. Today, crèches remind us, in the midst of our festivities, of the true significance of the holiday.