What a surprise, and just in time for the Christmas Season. . .

We all know that Superstition and Credulity drive many of the (tour) Buses of Belief.

When rituals, creeds, theology, scripture and other religious activity aren’t distracting the faithful from the real problems of the world, there’s always a “miracle” or “relic” to enthrall the masses.

But this takes the cake … the cow … or the straw (maybe the last straw?):

The Pope loans a splinter from the manger to Bethlehem (NPR)

And, what a shock to hear that the Whole Manger is kept in Rome, in a church the Virgin Mary herself established!

Santa Maria Maggiore

“The Holy Crib

In the crypt under the high altar lies the celebrated relic known as the Holy Crib. A statue of Pope Pius IX kneeling before the ancient wooden pieces of the manger serves as an example to the faithful who come to see the first humble crib of the Savior. Pius IX’s devotion to the Holy Crib led him to commission the crypt chapel, and his coat of arms is visible above the altar. The precious crystal urn trimmed in silver, through which the faithful can venerate the relic, was designed by Giuseppe Valadier.

The spiritual and sentimental image of the reconstruction of the “Crib” in remembrance of the venerated event of Christ’s birth, originated in 432 when Pope Sixtus III (432-440) created, within the primitive Basilica, a “cave of the Nativity” similar to that in Bethlehem. Numerous pilgrims returning to Rome from the Holy Land, brought back precious fragments of the Holy Crib (cunambulum), which are now kept in the golden Confessional shrine.”

And just think:  Somewhere there’s someone who’s job is Manger Manager.

I could go on … but what’s the point?

Exactly!

 

 

 

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