Greccio, the land of a thousand Christmas creches. We saw what seemed like about a hundred of all shapes, sizes and materials. I had a request from St. Francis College to get some pictures. I took about 30 of the main creche, a life-size display with several vignettes that make up the whole back area of the main chapel on the mountain.
I hope at least one is suitable for the wall of our Callahan Center to go with the others from past pilgrimages. Just to be safe I also photographed about 20 of the small ones that were not behind plexiglass. When I get home and post these to this entry it will really make up a pretty cool and diverse collection.A little history, the story goes that the town of Greccio wanted Francis to stick around for a good long while and wanted to build him a permanent residence. He gave a torch to a boy and told him they would stay wherever it landed. Seems they picked the wrong kid because the torch sailed clear across the valley to another mountainside two miles away, burnt the foliage and wallah - a new place of solitude was born. St. Bonaventure mucked it up again, says Father Andre, by building and building onto the site and contradicting Francis' call for solitude to be for only three or four brothers, not dozens. You can still see Francis' cave as well as a cross that marks the sleeping space for one of the other Brothers.