Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Pittsburgh Creche and Manger Herbs

The Pittsburgh Creche was first installed in 1999 through the efforts of the Christian Leaders Fellowship, and it was reinstalled in 2007 through gifts from labor unions, businesses, the religious community and other community leaders. It is the world's only authorized replica of the creche erected in front of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. It is a very inspirational work of art.

Some of these herbs were used in the manger bed. Bedstraw grows as a ground cover in the early spring. The legend is the flowers of the bedstraw were turned to gold from white when it was used in the manger for the Christ Child. Thyme was used in the bed for Mary to rest. Pennyroyal is said to blossom at midnight when the Christ Child was born. Rosemary flowers turned from white to blue as Mary layed her robe on the bush during her journey to Bethlehem. Juniper is a very herbal tree and protected Mary and the Holy Family in their flight from Herod. It is used particularly to decorate creches and shrines in Italy. Balsam was sought as the first Christmas tree because it was as high as hope, as wide as love and that bore the sign of the cross on every bough. It was the definitive symbol of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

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