Christmas of Francis

Giotto comes to life
to tell the birth of Jesus

From 08.12.2021 to 10.01.2022

Christmas of Francis

Giotto comes to life
to tell the birth of Jesus

From 08.12.2021 to 10.01.2022

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The Vision

Saint Francis of Assisi loved the feast of Christmas above all other celebrations, because the Son of God, King of Glory, came into the world. He came into the world to bring Peace and the Lord’s Presence.
With Christmas, the Son of God immerses himself in our humanity and we immerse ourselves in his kind, affable and merciful presence.
Dearest All, Merry Christmas!

Vision
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The Nativity

The Nativity

Saying Francis during Christmas time means Greccio, in memory of when Francis wanted to celebrate Christmas in a castle in the Holy Valley near Rieti. Such desire, in order to remind everyone how God had chosen to have his son born among the poor, not out of bad luck but by choice, surrounded by the straw, heated by the ox and the donkey, with shepherds and their wives rushing from the surrounding mountains: not necessarily the last ones of the Earth, but surely the most sincere people, the most true.

Nativity
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The Nativity of Francis

The glass Basilica

The statues and projections of Giotto's frescoes, present in the Basilica of San Francesco, bring lights and colors combining tradition and modernity with the Franciscan vision of Christmas in the city of the Saint of Assisi.

Basilica
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Why Christmas night?

Why
Christmas night?

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Annunciation
OUR PRAYER OUR PRAYER

ON THE WAY, UNDER
YOUR PROTECTION

Under your protection
we seek refuge,
holy Mother of God:
do not despise supplications
of us who are in trial,
but deliver us from all danger,
oh glorious and blessed Virgin.

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ANNUNCIATION

Annun-
-cia
tion

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OUR PRAYER OUR PRAYER

THE TRUE SIGHT OF CHRISTMAS

Mary Mother of Jesus
give me your heart
so beautiful pure immaculate
full of love and humility
so that I may receive Jesus...

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Nativity

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The Initiative

The Initiative

The most intense, exciting images and words, I hope properly heard, of this terrible 2020 were those of the message of a strong and kind man, alone in the night under the rain, in an empty St. Peter’s Square. That invocation addressed to the world by Pope Francis: “You can’t save yourself alone”.

There are many things to do in order to follow up on those words. Starting with the communities, called to strengthen their bonds, not to exclude but to open up to the different, to the world, without leaving anyone behind. Help can come from our deepest traditions because, in Mahler’s words, “tradition is not a cult of ashes but a custody of fire”. Among the traditions that can help us in these moments that we are going through, the Nativity scene can play an important role more than ever.

It is a tradition that has become worldwide, although remains very Italian, whose origins are traced by all to the Nativity scene wanted and created by Saint Francis on Christmas of 1223 in Greccio. There are many initiatives and associations linked to the Nativity scene throughout Italy. And an artisan know-how has also been born in many territories that gives beauty, warmth and soul to Nativity scenes.
In a small way, but with the strength of true and good energies gathered under the aegis of the Manifesto of Assisi, the Symbola Foundation, Confartigianato, Coldiretti, in collaboration with the Future, starting this year, want to bring their own contribution, towards making the extraordinary relevance and strength of this gentle narrative even better understood. Every year we want to add a new profession, a new activity, linked to everyday life, to make it clear that we are talking not only about a past to remember, but the roots of a possible future.

It is not an original idea in itself, it has already happened several times: I am thinking, for example, of the presence of Civil Protection figures in the Nativity of the Sacred Convent. However, we want to propose a national initiative, open to all, renewed every year. And this year we could only symbolically propose a “profession” whose importance is now more evident than ever. For this reason, we will send statuettes of nurses throughout Italy, to represent the whole world of health and care, especially about the weakest. In the belief that, as Pope Francis says: “In order to get out of this crisis, we must recover the awareness that, as community, we have a common destiny”. And the Nativity scene reminds us of this.

Ermete RealacciPresident of the Symbola Foundation

  • The Nurse
    Professions
    The Nurse

    "You can’t save yourself alone". Never as much as today, the words of Pope Francis are a mirror of this period. Words that adapt to the profession that we want to show this year: that of the nurse. People who work day and night in saving the sick people, in whispering words of comfort, putting their lives at the service of others.

The Statues
The Nurse
Professions
The Nurse

"You can’t save yourself alone". Never as much as today, the words of Pope Francis are a mirror of this period. Words that adapt to the profession that we want to show this year: that of the nurse. People who work day and night in saving the sick people, in whispering words of comfort, putting their lives at the service of others.

Angel
The announcing
Angel

In the opening pages of the Gospel of Luke, it is narrated the episode of an angel's visit to a virgin of Nazareth

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Virgin
The announced
Virgin

The other protagonist of the Annunciation is Mary of Nazareth, betrothed to a man called Joseph. Her role acquires importance in the rest of Luke's story

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And Jesus
Mary and
And Jesus

Again Mary, who usually sleeps in an ancient container used as a manger, or on the straw between an ox and a donkey.

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Shepherds
The
Shepherds

Do not be afraid, here I announce to you a great joy, which will be of all the people: today a savior was born in the city of David

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The Donkey
The Ox and
The Donkey

The ox and the donkey contend with Mary for the Nativity scene. In Assisi, Mary lifts the child to look at him in the eye and blissfully smile at him.

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Joseph
Joseph

Joseph has the appearance of an elderly man, with white hair and beard, who is sitting on the ground thoughtfully

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Nurses
The two
Nurses

The very first floor of the Nativity is occupied by two female figures, two nurses who look after the newborn child.

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Angels
Angels

Above the Bethlehem hut, Giotto painted fourteen angels, five on one side, nine on the other.

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Bringing Gifts
Women
Bringing Gifts

The two women carrying gifts - one dressed in white, the other in dark - are portayed in the painting with the Visitation on the church walls.

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Soldiers
The
Soldiers

Two soldiers with their heads protected by a helmet, one armed with a shield and spear, the other with a shield only, were chosen to represent The massacre of the innocents’ scene

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Informations

Information on Covid-19

  • Use mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Observe the distance
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