The town is well known as the place where, in December 1223, St. Francis set up the first crib scene, using local animals and a carved image of the Christ Child in a manger to recreate the events of Our Lord’s birth in Bethlehem.
The tradition continues in the same hillside cave which has become a popular local shrine, and visitors can also see the monastic cell in the nearby convent where St Francis slept. During the brief visit Pope Francis spent a few moments in silent prayer at the shrine, visited the adjacent Church and had lunch with the local bishop Domenico Pompili. He also greeted a group of some 70 young people who were taking part in a pilgrimage to Greccio. Image added from Radio Vaticana FB