20 November 2019

Did you know that the crib…

But did you know that the nativity scene is a custom that originated in Italy and that it was St. Francis of Assisi who produced the first representation of the Nativity after obtaining permission from Pope Honorius III?

The origin of the nativity scene

The pictorial tradition of depicting the Nativity was later followed by the three-dimensional representation, set up for the Christmas festivities, i.e. what is commonly understood today by the term ‘nativity scene’. This custom, at first predominantly Italian, originated at the time of St Francis of Assisi, who in 1223 produced the first representation of the Nativity in Greccio, after obtaining permission from Pope Honorius III. Francis had recently returned (in 1220) from Palestine and, impressed by his visit to Bethlehem, he intended to re-enact the Nativity scene in a place, Greccio, that he found so similar to the Palestinian town Thomas of Celano, chronicler of the life of St Francis, describes the scene in the First Life as follows:
“The crib is laid out, the hay is brought, the ox and the donkey are led. Simplicity is honoured there, poverty is exalted, humility is praised, and Greccio is transformed almost into a new Bethlehem.”

source Wikipedia: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presepe

Our cribs

We Zeni brothers love tradition, and sculpting crib figurines is what we love most. In recent years we have made around 200 figurines, and every year we add a piece to our collection. For 2019 we are making the Oasis, which you will soon be able to buy here on our website.

return to the blog