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Rosemary is an herb—and a sizeable shrub in the Holy Lands—that would have been present at the Nativity. It was a common household item, like our dish soap, and used in bedding to keep bugs away. St. Joseph, having been a bachelor for so long, would have known to add those sprigs to the manger to protect the infant Jesus. Mary would have placed the family’s clothes to dry on its branches so the herb’s oils would be absorbed by the garments, again to protect from bug bites.

© Hans Braxmeier|Pixabay