The Latest

Pope Francis visits the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square following vespers on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 2022.

Christmas 2023 at the Vatican: Nativity to recall St. Francis’ first-ever manger scene

Oct 30, 2023

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Christmas 2023 Nativity scene at the Vatican will evoke the first-ever live manger, the Vatican said Monday. Read more

A nativity scene carved out of olive wood by the Zakharia Brothers workshop in Bethlehem.

This Catholic family in Bethlehem has carved Nativity scenes for popes and presidents

Dec 28, 2022

By Courtney Mares

The Zakharia Brothers woodworking factory makes handcarved Nativity scenes out of olive wood. Read more

Nativity scene commissioned by Pope Nicholas IV in 1292. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

First known Nativity scene figurines are on display in Rome

Dec 27, 2022

By Courtney Mares

The first known Nativity scene figurines are housed in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Read more

Salome (right) and the midwife "Emea" (left), bathing the infant Jesus, are common figures in Orthodox icons of the Nativity of Jesus; here in a 12th-century fresco from Cappadocia.

Archaeologists prepare to open ‘tomb of Jesus’ midwife’ to public

Dec 20, 2022

By Katie Yoder

Archaeologists have unearthed artifacts from an ancient Jewish burial cave that Christians associate with Salome, who was possibly a midwife... Read more

Pope Francis spent time in silent prayer in front of a nativity scene handmade by artisan craftsmen in Guatemala on Dec. 3, 2022.

Pope Francis blesses Nativity scene made by craftsmen in Guatemala

Dec 3, 2022

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis blessed a Nativity scene on Saturday that was handmade by artisan craftsmen in Guatemala. Read more

Venerable Fulton Sheen

Venerable Fulton Sheen on the meaning of Christmas

Dec 25, 2021

By Joe Bukuras

Venerable Fulton Sheen once said that in order to understand the meaning of Christmas, two philosophies of life must first... Read more

The Nativity, by Rogier van der Weyden, part of the Bladelin Altarpiece.

12 saints' quotes about the true meaning of Christmas 

Dec 24, 2021

By Katie Yoder

While the saints offer unique insights into Christmas, they touch on similar themes: hope, joy, and the unconditional love of... Read more

Pope Francis celebrates Christmas Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 24, 2020.

10 things that Pope Francis wants us to learn from the nativity scene

Dec 17, 2021

By CNA Staff

The tradition was born in an unassuming town in 1223. Read more

Nativity scene commissioned by Pope Nicholas IV in 1292. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

First known nativity scene figurines can now be seen in St. Mary Major Basilica

Dec 23, 2020

By Courtney Mares

The first known nativity scene figurines are on display this Christmas in one of Rome’s oldest basilicas.  Read more

Pope Francis blesses nativity scenes near the Vatican Dec. 9, 2019.

Pope Francis blesses 100 nativity scenes near the Vatican

Dec 9, 2019

Pope Francis Monday stopped by the “100 Nativities in the Vatican” display to bless Christmas scenes from all over the... Read more

Pope Francis in the Paul VI hall Dec. 13, 2017.

Pope Francis: Make space for wonder this Christmas

Dec 19, 2018

By Hannah Brockhaus

Make space for wonder and surprise this Christmas, Pope Francis urged Wednesday, explaining that the first Christmas had many surprises... Read more

Nativity made of red coral in the "100 Nativities at the Vatican" display.

'100 Nativities in the Vatican' seeks to show true meaning of Christmas

Dec 17, 2018

By Courtney Mares

More than 100 nativity scenes are on display near the Vatican as the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the... Read more

Rich Varano.

American sculptor humbled to bring sand nativity to Vatican

Dec 5, 2018

By Hannah Brockhaus

Growing up next door to Daytona Beach in Florida, Rich Varano spent a lot of time making things out of... Read more

Construction begins on 2018 Vatican Nativity scene.

Artists begin work on Vatican Christmas nativity – out of sand

Nov 17, 2018

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Vatican’s nativity scene will be a little bit different this year. In a departure from the traditional Neapolitan or... Read more

Nativity Scene for Christmas 2013 designed by Antonio Cantone in Saint Peters Square

Designer says it was an honor to present nativity to Pope

Jan 16, 2014

By Elise Harris

The man in charge of constructing this year’s nativity scene for the Vatican expressed his delight at giving to Pope... Read more