According to tradition, St. Francis of Assisi is credited with building the first manger scene or crèche. Since that time, little scenes depicting the birth of Jesus have become for Christians an integral part of the Christmas tradition.
Nativity scenes can range from the simple and rustic, to the elaborate and ornate, like the Neapolitan Baroque Crèche displayed every Holiday Season at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. A not too distant cousin of that crèche is housed in a simple barn in Bethlehem Connecticut, at the Abbey of Regina Laudis.
As WNPR’s Ray Hardman reports, the historic crèche has been reinstalled after nearly three years of extensive restoration.