25 December 2013

San Clemente Praesepio

Every year our cook here at San Clemente makes from scratch a new praesepio (a nativity scene) in the traditional Italian style.  The one from last year is above.  The original nativity scenes are credited to St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century and they remain very popular among the Italians.

Here is the entire preasepio for 2013:

The scene is in two levels.  The main nativity scene is at the bottom.  There are smaller scenes mostly above from the life of Christ.
This is the other half of the nativity scene.
This is the main nativity scene.

The Annunciation to Mary.
Above the image of the Annunciation is this book open to the words of the Angel from Luke's Gospel: "Ave piena di grazia.  Il Signore e' con te"  (Hail full of grace.  The Lord is with you.)

The shepherds see the star.  This picture is a bit bright, but when it's dark there is the image of a star on the left wall.  The shepherds see the star.
I forgot to ask, but I think this is the child Jesus in the home.  You can see him learning carpentry with St. Joseph.

Different colors lights have been used to create this effect for the Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist.
The triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem.  Notice the child at the left with the palm branch in his hand.
The last supper.

The Crucifixion of Jesus.  Notice the one above, it rains!  The lights also fade out and lightning flashes.

The Empty Tomb of the Resurrection

22 December 2013

Roman Christmas

Here are just a few pictures from Rome.  There are some from St. Peter's square showing the Christmas tree.  There are also some from Piazza Navona.  Piazza Navona is famous at Christmastime for all of its gift stall.  It's usually a busy piazza, but doubly so at Christmas.