World Nativity Traditions




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Exhibition Label

Look at the baby in this manger scene. There is no manger, so-to-speak. The baby is of extra large size dwarfing the adults in his company. Size, color, and posture of the baby have a special meaning. The LXX size is used to indicate that in Jesus Christ all seasons of human life are present. He is king of the heart for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. The outstretched arms are a gesture of welcome; the crossed legs an allusion of his future crucifixion. When all naked, his humanity is symbolized. Wrapped in swaddling clothes with only his head visible the baby’s true origin and godhead is hidden to the eye. But yes, he is still a baby to mark the real beginning of the Christmas story.


Set appears to be made from painted artifical sandstone. Figures depict Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and three kings. Creator, date of creation, and place of creation unknown. Exhibition label originally written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. for exhibit entitled "Elisabeth's Nativity House: The van Mullekom Collection" held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton.


crèches, nativity scenes, nativities, At the Manger, figurines, Jesus Christ