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Christmas 2017 Crèche Free Download

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A Free Download for you and yours to enjoy! 
 
The Christmas 2017 Crèche is simple to make — and a joy to give! 
How long has it really been, dear fellow enthusiasts, since you last heard from me?

No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth, but you could say I traveled to the other side of the world: to Australia, where I photographed the luminous stained glass windows St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, for my book.

From there it was on to Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore, whose superb mosaics,including the Nativity, leave you in awe. The Basilica was built in the 5th century and dedicated to the Virgin after she was acclaimed Theotokos, God-bearer, or Mother of God.

During Sunday Mass, sitting near the soaring baldaquin (so you can admire the apse mosaics), with the basilica resounding in song you know that life on earth doesn't get much closer to heaven.

That Sunday afternoon you would have loved strolling along with me down the Esquiline Hill, along Via Cavour towards Via dei Fori Imperiali. When the Colosseum comes into view, we'd take a right, and at Piazza Venezia a left. Soon we'd be crossing the Tiber, on the way to Santa Maria Trastevere (across from the Tiber), to stand in wonderment in front of another set of mosaics of the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi.

And so it was, through Siena, Ravenna, Florence, and Venice, and the Sanctuary of Saint Francis in Greccio, where St. Francis of Assisi first set up, with the pope's blessing, the first Nativity scene, in a Grotto, in 1223.

In the Grotto, a fresco by the School of Giotto, depicts a tender image of the Nursing Madonna, just one of the magnificent images captured by my lens for the book.

And so it was, down to the foot of Italy, across to Messina, Cefalù, Palermo, Monreale, Syracuse…

A quick flight across the Ionian Sea took me to historic Greek Monasteries: Hosios Loukas, Dafni, and the monastic communities of Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain.

I can't wait to share it all with you — between the covers of In Search of the Nativity: A Visual Pilgrimage.

But for now, I'd like to offer you a small gift, the Christmas 2017 Crèche Free Download.

With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

—Alexis

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