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Pope Francis explains the symbolism of each figure in the Nativity scene


From the starry night to the “extras,” the pope sees a role for everyone in the Christmas creche, and explains it in a new apostolic letter.

Click here to launch the slideshow

In an apostolic letter titled Admirabile signum, Pope Francis highlights the importance of displaying a Nativity scene, in the home as well as in public places, during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

The Holy Father encourages families to continue this tradition and explains the spiritual symbolism behind each element of the Christmas creche.

The pope released the letter during a visit to the site where St. Francis created the first Nativity scene.

Here is a slideshow that features Pope Francis’ commentary on the symbolism found in the traditional Nativity scene.

Read more: How St. Francis invented the first Nativity scene

Read more: The anatomy of a Christmas creche

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