The nativity scene is “like the living Gospel, rising up from the pages of sacred Scripture,” according to Pope Francis who issued a new Apostolic Letter on its importance on the First Sunday in Advent.  He issued the letter at the Shrine of the Nativity in Greccio, Italy, where St. Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas creche in 1223.

Entitled “Admirabile Signum: On the Meaning and Importance of the Nativity Scene,” the letter highlights the value of continuing the tradition. You can read his letter here.  You can view the service where he released the letter here.