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Christmas Nativities and the Natural World at the University of Dayton

Read about and visit the Christmas nativities based on the natural world exhibited at the Roesch and Marian Libraries of the University of Dayton from November 20, 2023, to January 12, 2023.


St. Francis of Assisi was the first to promote the Christmas Nativity during his time and day. He was the ecological hero of the medieval period who encouraged care and love of creation. His inspirational Canticle of the Sun was the basis for Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ released in 2015. The Laudato Si’ Action Platform and the Global Compact on Education both promote the care of ecology and the spread of education, respectively, in the Marianist Family Encounters Project.


This year's nativities exhibited at the Roesch and Marian Libraries promote the goals of the Marianist Family Encounters Project. These nativity sets incorporate plants and animals worldwide into the Nativity of Christ. Various natural materials such as gourds, straw, wood, mother-of-pearl, and beeswax are some of the elements that are used to create these ecological nativity sets reflecting the natural surroundings during Christ Jesus' birth.


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