St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 at Greccio, Italy, in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving.
Staged in a cave near Greccio, St. Francis' nativity scene was a living one
with humans and animals cast in the Biblical roles. Pope Honorius III
gave his blessing to the exhibit.
Such pantomimes became hugely popular and spread throughout … [More]