Day 16 - Manger
St. Francesco of Assisi's love and respect for animals is what started the nativity scene.
In 1223, Francesco was visiting his friend in Greccio, Italy, and had agreed to preach the Christmas sermon in a small chapel. Worried that the chapel wouldn't hold the villagers, he got the idea to hold a night mass outdoors. He borrowed some sheep, goats and cows from a local farmer.
That night, as he walked among the animals, he told the Christmas story. The way he brought the story to life, showed the villagers that 'Jesus was a king who did not come to earth in a chariot to conquer, but in a manger to love.'