Dear Friends,

May the Lord give you peace!   On this holy night as we reflect on the Christmas story it’s good to remind ourselves of the importance of the Nativity in the life of our Holy Father and Brother, Francis of Assisi.   It was in the little hilltop town of Greccio that he prepared the first Christmas Crib.   In ‘The Assisi Compilation’ no 14 we read: “For blessed Francis held the Nativity of the Lord in greater reverence than any other of the Lord’s solemnities.   For although the Lord may have accomplished our salvation in other solemnities, nevertheless, once He was born to us, as blessed Francis would say, it was certain that we would be saved.   On that day he wanted every Christian to rejoice in the Lord and, for love of Him who gave Himself to us, wished everyone to be cheerfully generous not only to the poor but also to the animals and birds.”

May Christmas be a time of great joy and peace for you and all those who are dear to you.   Let us all take some time out to gaze upon the Crib in our home or in our local church over the next few days.

God is with you – Emmanuel.