The Nativity Scene is one of the most endearing Christmas traditions in the Catholic Church, recalling the conditions in which the Redeemer was born.
Its origin goes back to Christmas 1223 to Saint Francis of Assisi. The saint wished to celebrate the birth of the Divine Redeemer in a more solemn way and to increase devotion among the faithful. He resolved to do a dramatic reenactment of that sublime event and thus produced the first Nativity Scene on record.
In his biography of Saint Francis, Saint Bonaventure tells us how it happened:
“Now three years before his death it befell that he was minded, at the town of Greccio, to celebrate the memory of the Birth of the Child Jesus, with all the added solemnity that he might, for the kindling of devotion. That this might not seem an innovation, he sought and obtained license from the Supreme Pontiff, and then made ready a manger, and bade hay, together with an ox and an ass, be brought unto the spot. The Brethren were called together, the folk assembled, the wood echoed with their voices, and that august night was made radiant and solemn with many bright lights, and with tuneful and sonorous praises. The man of God, filled with tender love, stood before the manger, bathed in tears, and overflowing with joy. Solemn Masses were celebrated over the manger, Francis, the Levite of Christ, chanting the Holy Gospel. Then he preached unto the folk standing round of the Birth of the King in poverty, calling Him, when he wished to name Him, the Child of Bethlehem, by reason of his tender love for Him.”1
Ever since, Nativity Scenes have appeared throughout the Catholic world, in solemn cathedrals and humble parishes, in castles of nobles and in the cottages of the poor, in hospitals, military barracks, squares, shops and other public places.
It is the visible, often artistic way of remembering the event that changed the face of history forever.
Alas! The sublimity of the Nativity Scene has now been attacked by the secularizing fury of these sad times in which we live. Undeniably sad times, when Divine Providence allows the Church, for our punishment or to test our faith, to plunge into an ominous state of darkness so aptly described by Pope Paul VI in his famous phrase, “the smoke of Satan has entered into the temple of God.”2
Indeed, the pious initiative of Saint Francis of Assisi has been distorted by taking the focus away from the representation of the Divine Infant, his Holy Mother and the glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph. Modern Nativity Scenes are often exploited to include several kinds of political and ideological themes. Thus there are scenes displaying communist guerrillas (i.e. Che Guevara), the hammer and sickle, or pagan superstitions.
Though outraged at first, the faithful have gradually resigned themselves to these aberrations that have appeared over the years. However, these aberrations did not stop there.
This Christmas of 2017, the desecration of the Nativity Scene has taken a daring step forward: The Nativity Set in St. Peter’s Square displays a life-size figure of a naked man in a languid and provocative pose.
Aldo Maria Valle, an Italian television vaticanist, says “the naked man imposes himself on everything.” He is “front and center, rosy, well built, shaved and with all his muscles well drawn.” In this Nativity Scene, he comments, “Joseph and Mary almost look like two intruders who appeared there by chance.”3
While Catholics go from perplexity to indignation, the homosexual movement rejoices.
Diane Montagna wrote about this case on LifesiteNews in an article titled, “Vatican’s ‘sexually suggestive’ nativity has troubling ties to Italy’s LGBT activists.” After reporting that the Nativity design offered by the Abbey of Montevergine is related to the homosexual movement, Montagna quotes the words of a leader of this movement in Naples:
“The presence of the Vatican Nativity Scene for us is a reason to be even happier this year,” Antonello Sannini, president of homosexual activist group Arcigay Naples, told LifeSiteNews on Tuesday. “For the homosexual and transsexual community in Naples, it is an important symbol of inclusion and integration.”
What, you may ask, is the rationale employed to “justify” the presence of this naked man in the Christmas scene?
Since works of mercy are the theme of this Nativity Scene, it supposedly represents the corporal work of mercy of “clothing the naked.”
However, this portrayal happens precisely when the homosexual movement, directly and indirectly, is imposing a ferocious dictatorship against those who remain faithful to the doctrine of the Scriptures and of the Magisterium of the Church. Doctrine which clearly teaches that the practice of sodomy is a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance.4
What must zealous Catholics do in the face of such an affront to the innocence of the Child Jesus and the virginal purity of His Blessed Mother? Do nothing? A good beginning is to offer prayers and sacrifices in reparation. Offer your heartfelt prayer of reparation to the Infant Jesus now by clicking here.
- Saint Bonaventure, The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi, translated by E. Gurney Salter (New York, N.Y., E.P. Dutton, 1904), at https://www.ecatholic2000.com/bonaventure/assisi/francis.shtml. Retrieved 12/26/17.
- Paul VI, Allocution Resistite fortes in fide, of June 29, 1972, in Insegnamenti di Paolo VI (Vatican: Poliglotta Vaticana), Vol. 10, pp. 707-709.
- Aldo Maria Valli, “Se nel presepe Gesù Bambino sembra un intruso”, at http://www.aldomariavalli.it/2017/12/18/se-nel-presepe-gesu-bambino-sembra-un-intruso/. Retrieved 12/27/17.
- Catechism of Saint Pius X, “Q. Which are the sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance?
A. The sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance are these four: (1) Willful murder; (2) The sin of sodomy; (3) Oppression of the poor; (4) Defrauding laborers of their wages.” At https://www.ewtn.com/library/CATECHSM/PIUSXCAT.HTM#Virtues, retrieved 12/27/17; Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church, No. 1867, at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P6D.HTM, retrieved 12/27/17.