The Basilica of San Francesco in Bologna, Italy, is offering an opportunity to reflect and pray before the nativity scene.

Starting November 30, 2023, an educational exhibition on the Christmas at Greccio, which marks its 800th anniversary, will be set up in the ambulatory of the basilica [the semi-circular walkway behind the main altar]. This display was inspired by a suggestion from Bologna’s Pellicano Elementary School. Six display panels will be placed in front of each of the radial chapels behind the main altar. The exhibition will also feature an artistic nativity scene by Elena SUCCI, and some pieces from the collection of Mr. Nando LANZI and his wife Gioia, who are well-known experts in religious art. Mr. and Mrs. LANZI also curated a brief presentation of the project itself, which will include a traditional mechanical nativity scene in the style of the Conventual Franciscan Friar Giovanni LAMBERTINI (1916-1997). This Christmas “staging” will provide a chance to obtain the plenary indulgence that the Holy Father granted this centennial year to any faithful praying before a nativity scene in a Franciscan church. The indulgence will be available until February 2, 2024.

Basilica of San Francesco in Bologna