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Albert, Saints Simon Stock, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux and in more recent 20Some years ago my parish priest at the time who had trained at Valladolid in Spain in the early 1960s would say that it was such a shame that after all of the liturgies at Christmas and then following a short period of the Churches calendar that the nativity crib should be put away for a whole year.
The priest who readily admitted to being a close follower of Carmelite spirituality would travel on retreat each year back to his beloved Spain and each time bring back a small porcelain piece of the nativity scene and over the years his personal collection became complete and he would have it permanently on display in the presbytery for guests and visitors to see and the important feature was that the Infant Jesus was there on display each day and everyday as a reminder of His Incarnation.
Many of the church’s great saints had a special devotion to the child Jesus and are often carved, sculptured or painted holding Him: St.
Francis of Assisi and his origination and recreation of the Christmas crib in Greccio and non more so than St.
He longed to see the infant’s radiant face one more time and began to model in wax the image that so moved him as a young monk.
The monk grew old but found it impossible to forget the small angelic child who paid him a visit during his youth.After twenty five years the marriage ended in her husband’s death and Polyxena married for a second time to the Chancellor of Bohemia Prince Zdenek Vojtech de Lobkovice.It was during this marriage and at the age of 43 that a son Prince Vaclev was born to the pious couple whose descendents today are one of the most famous families in the Czech Republic.Teresa herself to the Spanish Princess Maria Maxmiliana Manriquez de Lara y Mendoza of Borgos as a wedding present at the time she married the Bohemian (Czech) nobleman Lord Vratislav of Pernstein who then brought to Prague the treasured statue.The couple gave birth to a daughter Polyxena who in 1587 married the most powerful bohemian Lord William of Rozmberk and the little wax figure was given over to Polyxena as a wedding present.