How St. Francis created the Nativity scene, with a miraculous event…

first_img Please enter your name here Christmas 2019By Vanessa Corcoran, Georgetown UniversityAround the Christmas season, it is common to see a display of the Nativity scene: a small manger with the baby Jesus and his family, shepherds, the three wise men believed to have visited Jesus after his birth and several barnyard animals.One might ask, what are the origins of this tradition?Biblical descriptionThe earliest biblical descriptions, the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, written between A.D. 80 and 100, offer details of Jesus’ birth, including that he was born in Bethlehem during the reign of King Herod.The Gospel of Luke says that when the shepherds went to Bethlehem, they “found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” Matthew tells the story of the three wise men, or Magi, who “fell down” in worship and offered gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.But as my research on the relationship between the New Testament and the development of popular Christian traditions shows, the earliest biblical descriptions do not mention the presence of any animals. Animals first start to appear in religious texts around the seventh century.A series of early Christian stories that informed popular religious devotion, including what’s known as the Infancy Gospel of Matthew, attempted to fill in the gap between Christ’s infancy and the beginning of his public ministry. This text was the first to mention the presence of animals at Jesus’ birth. It described how the “most blessed Mary went forth out of the cave and entering a stable, placed the child in the stall, and the ox and the ass adored Him.”This description, subsequently cited in several medieval Christian texts, created the Christmas story popular today.Start of Nativity scenesBut the Nativity scene now recreated in town squares and churches worldwide was originally conceived by St. Francis of Assisi.Much of what scholars know about Francis comes from “Life of St. Francis,” written by the 13th-century theologian and philosopher St. Bonaventure.Francis was born into a merchant family in the Umbrian town of Assisi, in modern-day Italy, around 1181. But Francis rejected his family wealth early in his life and cast off his garments in the public square.In 1209, he founded the mendicant order of the Franciscans, a religious group that dedicated themselves to works of charity. Today, Franciscans minister by serving the material and spiritual needs of the poor and socially marginalized.St. Francis of Assisi preparing the Christmas crib at Greccio.Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Assisi, ItalyAccording to Bonaventure, Francis in 1223 sought permission from Pope Honorious III to do something “for the kindling of devotion” to the birth of Christ. As part of his preparations, Francis “made ready a manger, and bade hay, together with an ox and an ass,” in the small Italian town of Greccio.One witness, among the crowd that gathered for this event, reported that Francis included a carved doll which cried tears of joy and “seemed to be awakened from sleep when the blessed Father Francis embraced Him in both arms.”This miracle of the crying doll moved all who were present, Bonaventure writes. But Francis made another miracle happen, too: The hay that the child lay in healed sick animals and protected people from disease.Nativity imagery in artAdoration of the Magi.Fra AngelicoThe Nativity story continued to expand within Christian devotional culture well after Francis’ death. In 1291, Pope Nicholas IV, the first Franciscan pope, ordered that a permanent Nativity scene be erected at Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome.Nativity imagery dominated Renaissance art.This first living Nativity scene – which was famously depicted by Italian Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone in the Arena Chapel of Padua, Italy – ushered in a new tradition of staging the birth of Christ.In the tondo, a circular painting of the Adoration of the Magi by 15th-century painters Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi, not only are there sheep, a donkey, a cow and an ox, there is even a colorful peacock that peers over the top of the manger to catch a glimpse of Jesus.Political turn of Nativity scenesAfter the birth of Jesus, King Herod, feeling as though his power was threatened by Jesus, ordered the execution of all boys under two years old. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were forced to flee to Egypt.In an acknowledgment that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees themselves, in recent years, some churches have used their Nativity scenes as a form of political activism to comment on the need for immigrant justice. Specifically, these “protest nativities” have criticized President Donald Trump’s 2018 executive order on family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border.For example, in 2018, a church in Dedham, Massachusetts, placed baby Jesus, representing immigrant children, in a cage. This year, at Claremont United Methodist Church in California, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus have all been placed in separate barbed-wire cages in their outdoor Nativity scene.These displays, which call attention to the plight of immigrants and asylum seekers, bring the Christian tradition into the 21st century.Vanessa Corcoran, Adjunct Professor of History, Academic Counselor, Georgetown University. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.  LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply The Anatomy of Fear You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate TAGSChristmas 2019Nativity SceneSt. Francis of Assisi Previous articleBankson or Bell? Becker or Potter? Vote tomorrow in The Apopka Voice online election pollNext articleEverything coming and going on Netflix in January Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Please enter your comment!last_img read more

Continue Reading

IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National Point Standings through Aug. 13

first_imgIMCA Modifieds – 1. Tom Berry, Des Moines, Iowa, and Brandon Beckendorf, Danube, Minn., both 796; 3. Jeff Larson (B1), Freeport, Ill., 794; 4. Steven Bowers Jr., Topeka, Kan., 792; 5. Da­kota Sproul, Hays, Kan., 788; 6. Chaz Baca, Mesa, Ariz., 781; 7. Chris Abelson, Sioux City, Iowa, Jesse Rogotzke, Sanborn, Minn., and Tim Ward, Chandler, Ariz., each 770; 10. Ethan Braaksma, Newton, Iowa, and Jeremy Mills, Britt, Iowa, both 768; 12. Jim Thies, Mapleton, Iowa, and William Gould, Calera, Okla., both 767; 14. Tony Leiker, Gillette, Wy., 764; 15. Aaron Johnson, Brainerd, Minn., Anthony Roth, Columbus, Neb., and Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, each 761; 18. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., 758; 19. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, Iowa, 755; 20. Matt Guillaume, Has­let, Texas, 752. Lady Eagle – 1. Kaytee DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 757; 2. Leah Wroten, Independ­ence, Iowa, 722; 3. Taylor Kuehl, Cave Creek, Ariz., 691; 4. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 682; 5. Kel­sie Foley, Tucson, Ariz., 678;6. Shelby Frye, Casa Grande, Ariz., 668; 7. Jenna Hagemann, Fort Rip­ley, Minn., and Kenzie Ritter, Keystone, Iowa, both 612; 9. Brianna Maughlin, Dighton, Kan., 597; 10. Torey Fischer, West Fargo, N.D., 574; 11. Allison Morris, Taylor, Texas, 564; 12. Brooke Fluckiger, Columbus, Neb., 542; 13. Jill George, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 536; 14. Brook­lynne Kibel, Cortez, Colo., 523; 15. Krissy Car­penter, Aztec, N.M., 503; 16. Megan Hatley, Newark, Texas, 457; 17. Chelsea Clark, Cortez, Colo., 452; 18. Hannah Chesmore, Rowley, Iowa, 440; 19. Han­nah Miller, Phoenix, Ariz., 423; 20. Jordan Bartz, Shawano, Wis., 407.  IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars ­–­ 1. Tyler Drueke, Eagle, Neb., 747; 2. Garrett Bard, Wells Tan­nery, Pa., 709; 3. Ryan Voss, Spirit Lake, Iowa, 695; 4. Trefer Waller, Oneill, Neb., 688; 5. Stuart Snyder, Lincoln, Neb., 677; 6. Zach Blurton, Quinter, Kan., 612; 7. Toby Chapman, Panama, Neb., 604; 8. Kyler Johnson, Quinter, Kan., 581; 9. John Walp, Wapwallopen, Pa., 563; 10. Mitch­ell Dvorak, Stuart, Neb., 547; 11. Christopher Thram, Sanborn, Minn., 545; 12. Jason Danley, Lincoln, Neb., 525; 13. Dusty Ballenger, Harrisburg, S.D., 505; 14. Adam Gullion, Lincoln, Neb., 502; 15. Larry McVay, Bordentown, N.J., 480; 16. J.D. Johnson, Maize, Kan., 447; 17. Taylor Ve­lasquez, Turpin, Okla., 432; 18. Douglas Dodson, Middletown, Pa., 420; 19. Jeremy Allen, Blanchard, Okla., 417; 20. Monty Ferriera, Lincoln, Neb., 416. IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks – 1. Cory Probst, Brewster, Minn., 794; 2. Cody Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 793; 3. Kaden Reynolds, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 792; 4. Jason Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 790; 5. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb., 789; 6. Tim Gonska, Brainerd, Minn., 783; 7. Brady J. Bencken, Oak­ley, Kan., 781; 8. Jason Duggins, Farmington, N.M., and Brandon Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, both 780; 10. Malik Sampson, Worthington, Minn., 775; 11. Jason Fusselman, Avoca, Iowa, 773; 12. Steve Bitting, Phoenix, Ariz., 762; 13. Zach Olmstead, Overton, Neb., and Cody Williams, Minneap­olis, Kan., both 758; 15. Tathan Burkhart, Hays, Kan., 748; 16. Brett Vanous, Quasque­ton, Iowa, 745; 17. Solomon Bennett, Minburn, Iowa, 742; 18. Jason Kohl, Missouri Valley, Iowa, 721; 19. Mike Smith, Lake City, Iowa, and Josh Sidles, Emmetsburg, Iowa, both 719. IMCA Sunoco Late Models – 1. Cory Dumpert, York, Neb., 789; 2. Matt Ryan, Davenport, Iowa, 782; 3. Logan Duffy, Independence, Iowa, 762; 4. Dalton Simonsen, Fairfax, Iowa, 721; 5. Zach­ary Zentner, Cedar Rapids, Neb., 714; 6. Nelson Vollbrecht, Stanton, Neb., 703; 7. Andy Nezwor­ski, Buffalo, Iowa, 700; 8. Eric Pollard, Peosta, Iowa, 686; 9. Chase Osborne, Battle Creek, Neb., and Mitch Manternach, Dyersville, Iowa, both 678; 11. Robert Osborne, Norfolk, Neb., and Alex Banks, Newman Grove, Neb., both 673; 13. Jacob Waterman, Colona, Ill., and Colton Leal, Dubu­que, Iowa, both 643; 15. Jim Johnson, Plainview, Neb., 623; 16. Chuck Hanna, Port Byron, Ill., 607; 17. Ben Sukup, Norfolk, Neb., 564; 18. Jon Haase, Plainview, Neb., 557; 19. Justin Kay, Wheatland, Iowa, 545; 20. Jill George, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 536.  Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods – 1. Cody Thompson, Sioux City, Iowa, 800; 2. Doug Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 794; 3. Brian Osantowski, Columbus, Neb., 793; 4. Matt Looft, Swea City, Iowa, 791; 5. Jayden Schmidt, Seymour, Wis., 776; 6. Jared Boumeester, Waseca, Minn., and Tony Olson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, both 771; 8. Jarett Franzen, Maquoketa, Iowa, 770; 9. Johnathon D. Logue, Boone, Iowa, 769; 10. Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa, Iowa, 767; 11. Gage Neal, Anamosa, Iowa, 765; 12. Tyler Soppe, Dubuque, Iowa, 764; 13. Austen Becerra, Carthage, Ill., 758; 14. Rusty Montagne, North Sioux City, S.D., 753; 15. Kyle Olson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 751; 16. Jake Sachau, Manning, Iowa, and Alec Fett, Algona, Iowa, both 749; 18. Colby Fett, Algona, Iowa, and Brian J. Carey, Aztec, N.M., both 747; 20. James Roebuck, Genoa, Neb., 743.center_img Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods – 1. Dean Abbey, Boyd, Texas, 798; 2. Da­mon Hammond, Burleson, Texas, 742; 3. Matthew Day, Farmersville, Texas, 726; 4. James Hanu­sch, Belton, Texas, 702; 5. Jerrett Bransom, Burleson, Texas, 689; 6. Dan Day, Farmersville, Texas, 688; 7. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 682; 8. Casey Brunson, Lott, Texas, 678; 9. Billy J. Gould, Kingwood, Texas, 675; 10. Jeff Reynolds, Godley, Texas, 659; 11. Jackson Har­pole, Farmington, N.M., 642; 12. Gary Fox, Fort Worth, Texas, 603; 13. James Skinner, Burleson, Texas, 593; 14. Tim Ihnen, Cortez, Colo., 584; 15. Tommy Freeman, Runaway Bay, Texas, 548; 16. Cullen Hill, Healdton, Okla., and Steve Blair, Cortez, Colo., both 542; 18. Brooklynne Kibel, Cortez, Colo., 523; 19. Bradley Poor, Hawley, Texas, 521; 20. Jake Upchurch, Red Oak, Texas, 509. Mach-1 Sport Compacts – 1. Kaytee DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 757; 2. Darwin “Bubba” Brown Jr., Jackson, Minn., 748; 3. R.J. Esqueda, Granada, Minn., 746; 4. Jack Bransom, Burleson, Texas, 737; 5. Tyler Fiebelkorn, Creston, Iowa, 730; 6. Jaedon Erickson, Welcome, Minn., 729; 7. Bondy Can­non, Mineral Wells, Texas, 724; 8. Justin Dose, Biscay, Minn., 715; 9. Gilbert Aldape, Sioux City, Iowa, 704; 10. Greg Kohl, Fort Ripley, Minn., 687; 11. Ted Trumbo, Saint Francis, Kan., 670; 12. Caine Mahlberg, Dunlap, Iowa, 656; 13. Ramsey Meyer, Pierce, Neb., 650; 14. Dennis Co­sens, Mentmore, N.M., 646; 15. Austin Friedrich, Saint James, Minn., 628; 16. Nathan Kohl, Fort Ripley, Minn., 615; 17. Jenna Hagemann, Fort Ripley, Minn., 612; 18. Brandon Hartmann, Fair­mont, Minn., 608; 19. William Millard, Dolores, Colo., 599; 20. Brianna Maughlin, Dighton, Kan., 597. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars – 1. Michael Nichols, Harlan, Iowa, 800; 2. Steffan Carey, Bloomfield, N.M., 789; 3. Jeffrey Larson, Lakefield, Minn., 788; 4. Damon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa, 787; 5. Dal­lon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa, 782; 6. Jake Masters, Graettinger, Iowa, 770; 7. Donavon Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 767; 8. Jason Batt, Harker Heights, Texas, 764; 9. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, 763; 10. Justin Luinenburg, Reading, Minn., 761; 11. Dan Mackenthun, Hamburg, Minn., 759; 12. Aus­tin Brauner, Platte Center, Neb., 755; 13. Devin Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 754; 14. David Smith, Lake City, Iowa, and Dustin Mooney, Forney, Texas, both 753; 16. Elijah Zevenbergen, Ocheyedan, Iowa, and Derek Green, Granada, Minn., both 742; 18. Cameron Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 740; 19. Shelby Williams, Bonham, Texas, 734; 20. Brian Blessington, Breda, Iowa, 733. Junior National Champion – 1. Kaden Reynolds, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 792; 2. Dallon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa, 782; 3. Jayden Schmidt, Seymour, Wis., 776; 4. Logan Duffy, Independence, Iowa, 762; 5. Kollin Hibdon, Pahrump, Nev., 747; 6. Jack Bransom, Bur­leson, Texas, 737; 7. Mat­thew Day, Farmersville, Texas, 726; 8. Cade Rich­ards, Lincoln, Neb., 725; 9. Mike Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 719; 10. Jerret Bransom, Burleson, Texas, 689; 11. Casey Brunson, Lott, Texas, and Jake Pike, Pahrump, Nev., both 678; 13. Blake Luinenburg, Reading, Minn., 677; 14. Dylan Thornton, Santa Maria, Calif., and Carter Koop, Rockwell, Iowa, both 673; 16. Jay­den Larson, Mankato, Minn., 669; 17. Justin Erickson, Glendale, Ariz., 667;  18. Blake Clark, Joshua, Texas, 661; 19. Ashton Wilkey, Batesville, Ark., 657; 20. Dennis Cosens, Mentmore, N.M., 646.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Stephen ‘not ready for Ireland’

first_imgStoke manager Mark Hughes does not feel the time is right for Stephen Ireland to return to international football. Hughes said: “He is doing very well, his fitness is improving. “He needed good quality work within the senior group. “Prior to coming here he was just working with the under-21 development squad. “That takes the edge off your work, the intensity of work is not what you need to make an impact at Premier League level. The more work he does with us the better he will become.” The midfielder has said he is willing to consider making himself available for Ireland again following the departure of Giovanni Trapattoni as manager. But the 27-year-old is still trying to establish himself at Stoke, where he is on a season-long loan, after falling out of favour at Aston Villa. Ireland has made just four appearances for the Potters, three off the bench, since joining the club last month and that has been his only senior football since January. On that basis, Hughes feels it is too soon to consider playing again for Ireland, whom he has not represented since 2007. It had been suggested he could return for this month’s World Cup qualifiers but interim national boss Noel King decided against calling him up, despite establishing contact. Hughes said: “Stephen is still trying to get back to the levels he knows he can reach and at the moment he is not quite there. “He is very close, but I think getting involved with the international squad would be a little bit premature for him at the moment. “But certainly he has said he is more than happy to have a conversation in regard to being involved again. “Probably the actual position of the national team manager needs to be resolved and then he can have that conversation and move it forward.” Ireland has not played for his country since he lied about the death of both of his grandmothers after pulling out of the squad for a European Championship qualifier in the Czech Republic six years ago. Press Associationlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Men’s basketball: Badgers down Wolverines in regular season home finale

first_imgWith 19 seconds remaining in Sunday’s game against Michigan, Jordan Smith, the lone senior on the Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s roster, stepped to the free throw line. With the entire Kohl Center crowd on their feet, Smith knocked down both foul shots with ease.The free throws themselves didn’t mean anything. The Badgers had the game well in hand and had an 11-point lead before the fifth-year senior guard stepped to the charity stripe.Rather, Smith’s foul shots served as the most fitting conclusion to Wisconsin’s 68-57 win over Michigan Sunday, as the team put together a near-perfect second half performance en route to taking down the Wolverines.Midway through the second half, however, it didn’t appear UW head coach Greg Gard would be able to go too deep into his bench.With 13:13 remaining in the second period, Michigan forward Ricky Doyle threw down an alley-oop dunk that not only gave the Wolverines a 40-39 lead, but energy and momentum from the thunderous slam.But then, something seemed to click for Wisconsin.A bucket from junior forward Nigel Hayes in the post and a drive to the bucket from redshirt junior guard Zak Showalter over the next minute quickly brought UW’s lead back up to three points. And from there, the Badgers continued to roll.“It just speaks to our resiliency and our maturity,” junior guard Bronson Koenig said. “We know we are going to go to the other end, make a play and counter that.”An Ethan Happ layup just a minute later brought the team’s lead to five, and Michigan would never get any closer than that.As a team, the Badgers shot 56 percent from the field in the second half, compared to the 42 percent they shot in the first. This was due in large part to UW attacking the inside more, scoring 20 of their 26 points in the paint in the final 20 minutes.“In the first half, [Michigan was] really aggressive on the double team, especially on Happ to make it hard for him to make any plays,” Gard said. “I thought in the second half we did a better job of finishing around the rim, specifically [Hayes].”Hayes took to the paint to do most of his work offensively, finishing with 16 points while hitting just one three-pointer and taking it to Michigan’s Zak Irvin on the block, backing him down past the block.But while the key to Wisconsin’s second half spurt was their will and drive to attack inside, both juniors Koenig and Vitto Brown kept the Wolverine defense honest by combining to shoot seven-of-12 from behind the arc.Koenig, who scored a team-high 19 points Sunday and set the Wisconsin school record for most consecutive games with a three-pointer made, credits the team’s spacing for the continuing success of not only his own perimeter shooting, but of the entire team.“I think earlier in the year, the only shot I could get were ones I could create myself,” Koenig said. “I think with the implementation of the swing offense, it spreads the floor and gives guys places to be. Our space has improved 100 percent.”Brown’s four threes were a single game career-high for the junior, and he finished with 14 points, while Happ was the only other Wisconsin player to score in double figures, finishing with 12.Now, while the team’s time at the Kohl Center this season is over, the Badgers still have two road games — at Minnesota and Purdue — that will seal their fate in the conference standings.Sunday’s win over Michigan puts them in a four-way tie for second place, and they currently hold the tiebreaker over each of the other three teams. But Gard and his team, who have now won 10 of their last 11 games, know they still have a long way to go.“The only thing that ends tonight is the ability to play on our home court,” Gard said. “We have a lot of basketball hopefully in front of us and a lot of areas that we can improve up and grow from.”Stats courtesy of UW-Athleticslast_img read more

Continue Reading