Assisi Honors Healthcare Workers Amid Pandemic With Nativity Scene and Light Show

Tags: Currents Advent, Assisi, Coronavirus, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Nativity, St. Francis, World News

By Claudia Torres

St. Francis of Assisi began the tradition of setting up the nativity scene. This year, the town where he grew up will celebrate a very special Christmas. 

Assisi is putting the joy of the Franciscan spirit on display with video projections on the facades of the Superior Basilica of St. Francis and the Cathedral of St. Rufino. It will be a spectacular light show in the town’s streets.

“We want to show, in front of the basilica, the presence into which we can enter, in which each one of us can feel like a part of the event of the birth of the Lord. He is the one who comes to visit us, the Son of God made flesh,” explained Marco Moroni, custodian for the Sacred Convent of Assisi. “We immerse ourselves in this Nativity, and He immerses Himself in our humanity.”

There will also be a large nativity scene composed of 50 shepherd statues, honoring the work of healthcare personnel with a statue of a nurse.

The nativity scene seeks to be an invitation to understand the meaning of the nativity for St. Francis on Christmas in Greccio, in the year 1223.

“What does St. Francis do? In reality, he doesn’t make an actual nativity scene like the one we’re familiar with today. He fixes up a manger, adds some hay, has a donkey and bull brought in, and he celebrates a Mass,” Simone Tenuti, head of the youth ministry at the Sacred Convent of Assisi told Currents News. “For Francis, there is a very strong relationship between the Incarnation and the Eucharist.”

“We are called to truly grow, mature, light up that interior light, this life that is born in each one of us. Then it will be an extraordinary and beautiful Christmas. Why? Because we’ll be able to face any–no, not obstacle–any surprise, because we’ll have that light that illuminates and guides us,” added Enzo Fortunato, Press Director for the convent. 

This Christmas, special attention will be given to those who are far away and can’t travel to Assisi. Thanks to the website, it will be possible to admire the projections with the impressive Giotto frescoes until Jan. 6, 2021.