Rome, Italy, Dec 19, 2022 / 03:00 am (CNA).
Catholics from Italy participated in a re-enactment of the Christmas story in Rome on Saturday.
The processional living nativity began outside Rome’s cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and proceeded down Via Merulana, a major thoroughfare, to reach the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
The Dec. 17 living nativity concluded at a stable set up at the entrance of the basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The walk was followed by the recitation of the Christmas Novena, and the Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the vicar of Rome.
The living nativity kicked off with a re-enactment of Pope Innocent III’s approval of the rule for the Franciscan Order as written and presented by St. Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis then led the procession, which included people dressed as Mary and Joseph, as they acted out along the street the search for a place to sleep in Bethlehem.
Families dressed as traditional Roman artisans, Roman soldiers, and other characters from the story of Christ’s birth also joined the walk.
Actors from living nativities around Italy joined the initiative, which the Rome diocese said was “encouraged by Pope Francis, who has personally inspected the project.”
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