Statue Measures: approx. 11" Tall
Saint Francis of Assisi contributed to the establishment of the tradition by introducing three-dimensional Nativity Scenes after his return to Italy in 1220 from Egypt. In 1223, St. Francis requested his friend Giovanni Velita, a nobleman from the town of Greccio, to it make a Nativity Scene for a Christmas Eve mass he was preaching. The constructed Nativity Scene was comprised of a straw-filled manger (feeding trough), an ox and a donkey (representing the people of Israel and the Gentiles, an allusion to Isaiah 1:3), all placed in a cave near the town of Greccio.