On December 8, 2023, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., the Most Reverend Iosif PĂULEȚ, Bishop of Iași, Romania, inaugurated an exhibition of nativity scenes at the Conventual Franciscan seminary in Roman, Romania. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Theological Institute, and the Franciscan Theological High School, in Roman, in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the first representation of the nativity scene by St. Francis of Assisi at Greccio.

Twenty-eight nativity scenes, all showing great originality, were displayed by over twenty participants including children and youth groups from Conventual Franciscan parishes, pupils, students, seminarians, clerics, religious sisters and lay people and friars. One of these was Friar Ioan FARCAȘ who created a beautiful nativity scene in the seminary chapel that really stood out.
Bishop PĂULEȚ presided over Mass. He was joined by the Vicar Provincial, Friar Ionel-Emilian DUMEA, the Guardian of the friary in Roman, the formators and professors of the Institute, and other priests. Those participating in the celebration included consecrated people, seminarians, and a large number of Secular Franciscans and lay faithful.
In his homily, Bishop Iosif PĂULEȚ spoke about the unique privilege that that God gave Mary, the Mother of God, namely, to be preserved from original sin—and the significance that this gift had for us—a gift that God granted to the one who brought his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, into the world.
At the end of the celebration, the bishop prayed over and blessed the nativity scenes. Moreover, he was given a small nativity scene as a souvenir of this festive event.
In addition, the participants were able to obtain the plenary indulgence granted by the Apostolic Penitentiary on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Christmas at Greccio. The indulgence is available to all the faithful who visit a nativity scene in a Franciscan church anywhere in the world, from December 8, 2023, to February 2, 2024. The exhibition of nativity scenes will remain open every day through February 2, 2024.

Friar Virgil BLAJ