A touching episode that took place in Criciúma, Brazil, was back in 2008 has continued to go viral. An unusual “living statue” joined a Nativity scene set up in one of the southern Brazilian city’s squares: in the manger at the feet of the Baby Jesus, a German shepherd puppy, abandoned by its owners, found warmth and shelter in the hay.
The tranquility of the puppy sleeping at the side of the Baby Jesus — despite being watched by the eyes of hundreds of visitors — charmed the town’s citizens who visited the Nativity scene that day.
When the pup eventually awoke to see the cameras of curious passers-by, he was startled at first, but the story has a happy ending worthy of Christmas: while someone had abandoned him, someone else decided to adopt him and welcome him into their home.
Prayer to Bless a Nativity Scene
God of Mary and Joseph, of shepherds and animals,
bless us whenever we gaze on this manger scene.
Through all the days of Christmas
may these figures tell the story
of how humans, angels, and animals
found the Christ in this poor place.
Fill our house with hospitality, joy,
gentleness, and thanksgiving,
and guide our steps in the way of peace.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.