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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.

Nativity from Palestine
Joy of the Moment
Y. Jashir

Nativity sets made of olive wood are widely known. They represent one of two créche traditions originating in Christian Palestine. The other tradition adopted fabric for its Nativity creations. If the wooden carved figures reflect the solemn character of Orientalist art, we discover a more genuinely oriental aura among the Nativity actors and actresses made of fabric. Colorful yet unpretentious, they suggest joy of life amid simplicity and hardship. This Nativity set brings to life memories of sun and dust, the fragrances of the marketplace and the excited shouts of merchants. Most important, this Christmas scene wants to be a festive hymn of welcome to the newborn. But somehow the impression lingers that joy is but a moment, and that its bright intensity mercifully hides the long haul ahead, a trying journey through the valley of tears.

– ML.2624


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