Felician Community Gathers for Christmas Crib and Tree Blessing

Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Felician Community recently gathered for the annual blessing of the Christmas crib and tree in the lobby of Obal Hall on the Lodi campus.

Carols were sung between liturgical readings which were offered by Father Damian Colicchio, Father John O’Neill and several students.

Felician College’s patron Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with the creation of the first nativity scene (the Christmas crèche) in 1223 having been inspired by his visit to the Holy Land where he visited Jesus’ birthplace. Francis was to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass in the woods of Greccio near Assisi and asked that a manger, hay and animals be brought to the makeshift altar to replicate the birth of the infant Jesus. As the crowds gathered to celebrate, Francis is said to have stretched out his arms as if the Holy Child were there, and the manger became radiant with the light of the newborn King.

The tradition of the Christmas crib spread throughout the Christian world and remains in churches, homes and places of worship today.