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The following Nativities are each displayed in a unique permanent setting created by Marian Library Crèche Collection volunteers. The descriptive text for each was written by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Guatemala nativity set

Heavenly Music
Florencio Rodenas

The reddish-brown glow of Rodina’s delicately-crafted figures aptly reflects the burning desert, which sets the stage for this nativity set representing three events of the holy story. It features not only the birth of Christ with angels and shepherds, but also the flight into Egypt and Christ’s entry into Jerusalem or the beginning of Holy Week. Incarnation and Passion are frequently related in Nativity representations. A special feature in this set is the host of angels playing various musical instruments. Harbingers of peace and reconciliation, they accompany Jesus from Bethlehem to Calvary. Heaven needn’t worry; earth may rejoice: such is the angels’ tune.

– ML.1116.01

Guatemala nativity set

A Moving Feast
Miguel Chavez

This hand-carved and unpainted nativity set from Guatemala is very unusual. It represents neither the typical features nor the typical elements of that country. Each one of the figures is a world of its own, expressive and literally on the move. Human condition has left its mark on each one of the actors but the common tenor of the group is one of joy. Culturally speaking, Christmas is a "moveable feast" (Hemingway). Its spiritual meaning makes of the Incarnation a moving feast.

– ML.1129.04

Guatemala nativity set

Gathering Creation
Geraldo Isasa

This tableau is brimming over with the life of creation gathering a great many of its representatives: animals of the deep and inhabitants of the air, creatures of past and present; those who sleep and those who make music. Whether noble or ordinary, man or beast, all are part of the same assembly gathered around the Lord of Creation. Uniform in color and execution, these little clay figures are singing their humble praise of the Incarnation.

– ML.2630

Guatemala nativity set

When Pigs Fly
Women Artisans
Alta Vera Paz
Dress dried corn husks

The colorfully dressed pigs sailing along with the white cumulus clouds bring to memory the well-known adage "When Pigs Fly." The saying is used to indicate that something will never happen, or when it happens it must be truly miraculous. For those who ponder the meaning of the Incarnation, the expression "When Pigs Fly" may readily come to mind. But the miracle happened! The flying pigs are no longer a sign of impossibility but an invitation to grateful wonderment.

– ML.4930

Guatemala nativity set

Sheep, Sheep
Achi Artisans Rabanal

The attention is captured by the somewhat unruly but eager flock of sheep in the center of the nativity scene. Tending necks and legs, they are pressing forward to get a glimpse of the one announced by the angel Gabriel. Sheep are mentioned more than 500 times in Scripture. Sheep are the favorite analogy to describe our relation to God. Sheep are clearly God's favorite animal. In a world filled with majestic animals like lions, horses, and eagles, the Lord chose sheep for his teaching and care. No wonder the flock of sheep in this set is pressing forward to have a glimpse of its future shepherd and redeemer.

– ML.2632



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