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Merry Christmas!

To all my blog friends, I say...

Merry Christmas!!

And this being the season when we traditionally celebrate the birth of Christ, here is a photo I took in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi. I thought this was a rather odd nativity scene in that the baby Jesus is neither in a manger, nor in the arms of Mary. I'm assuming the man holding the baby is supposed to be St. Francis, who introduced three dimensional nativity scenes (or presepio) to Italy after a 1220 voyage to Egypt.

The basilica itself is HUGE!! It was built around Francis' original stone chapel, the Porziuncola. Apparently so many pilgrims flocked to the Porziuncola, that the larger building was required to hold them all. As I recall, there were no photos allowed inside the basilica so I don't have a photo of the small chapel itself. It looked very strange to walk into the basilica and see a small stone building in the middle of the sanctuary! But I can tell you that it was an amazing experience to stand inside the tiny 9th century building listening to the worship service that was taking place in the main basilica...I got goosebumps.

And while I'm posting photos from this basilica, here is a statue that is in a niche between the basilica and the Rose Garden. The doves in his basket are real...

Comments (9)


Beautiful photos, Anne. I've visited Assisi twice, but haven't made the time to stick around the village of Santa Maria degli Angeli. And I really would love to see the Basilica there and the tiny Porziuncola.

The I didn't realize St. Francis introduced the presepio to Italy. This one is so interesting, with Francis included in the Nativity.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, Anne!

Wonderful photos! I'd love to visit that church. The real doves are so cool, and I didn't know that St. Francis introduced nativity scenes either.

Not sure if you have these in Canada, but some of the Nativity scenes here have Santa Claus hanging out with the Holy Family. It makes me laugh.

My nephews are very excited because they get to be wise men at the Christmas Eve service tomorrow! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas!


Sandra, you should find time one of these visits, the Porziuncola really is quite special.

Annie, how wonderful for your nephews! MVH is one of the narrators at our children's service tomorrow and is also very excited (although being 12 going on 15, she is acting more blasé about it in public!)

I have been inside both the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and inside the Porziuncola in the summertime many years ago. At least if my memory is correct, I was able to go inside the Porziuncola. I was amazed at how this tiny little church inside of this huge church. I just happened upon the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli while waiting for a bus to take me back to Siena. Thanks for the link. I had don't think I ever followed up and read about this church. Great photos! Merry Christmas!!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Anne, this is a wonderful post. I have not yet been to Assisi and would like to very much visit there one day as there is something that draws me there. Your photos are so wonderful too. Thank you so much for all of your interesting posts throughout the year. I've really learned so much from them.

I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year Anne!

Wonderful and interesting post, Anne. I went to Assisi 9 years ago with my husband (who dislikes going inside a church but was an altar boy) and went to this Basilica but it was closed. I must return but sans husband.

I love the beautiful photos, in particular the one with the doves.

Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family. I thank God for this season of promise and peace and I also thank Him for your friendship.


girasoli, isn't amazing to see this intact little ancient building inside the huge basilica. I got your molokai photo by the way - thanks!!

Kathy, thank you so much. I have really enjoyed your blog this year too! (and I now want to visit Spain more than ever!)

Oh Maria, how wonderfully your words reflect the true spirit of Christmas. It was such a blessing to meet and share stories with you, my friend!

Have a wonderful Christmas - all the best in 2009!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Anne, hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Hope Santa gave you that DVD that you wanted ...

I just wanted to stop in to wish you and your family a very wonderful and Happy New Year! I'm so looking forward to reading about more of your insights in 2009!

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