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Press Conference Marking the 800th Anniversary of St. Francis’ Creation of the First Nativity Scene



On July 12, 2023, a press conference entitled “Admirabile Signum” [enchanting image] took place to mark the 800th Anniversary of St. Francis’ creation of the first nativity scene. The conference was held at the headquarters of ENIT National Agency for Tourism in Rome.

The event began with an introduction from Ivana JELINIC, the CEO of ENIT. The panel of speakers included: the Most Reverend Vito PICCINONNA, Bishop of Rieti, Italy; the Most Reverend Domenico POMPILI, Bishop of Verona, Italy, President of the Episcopal Commission for Culture and Social Communication and the contact person of the Italian Episcopal Conference for the 2023-26 Franciscan Centenary events; Friar Simone CASTALDI, OFM, a Delegate of the Italian Friars Minor Province of San Bonaventura; Simona Renata BALDASSARRE, Councilor for Culture, Equal Opportunity, Youth and Family Policies of the Civil Service of the Italian Region of Lazio; Manuela RINALDI Councilor for Public Works and Reconstruction, Roads and Infrastructure Policies of the Italian Region of Lazio; Giampaolo LETTA, President of the Technical Group for Cultural Tourism and Major Events of the Union of Industrialists and Businesses of Rome (et al); Cristina PRIARONE, General Director of the Lazio Film Commission; and Giuseppe GIANNOTTI, Director of RAI Broadcasting’s Department of Culture and Education, History and Anniversaries Division. The meeting was coordinated by Enrico BRESSAN of the cultural consulting firm Fondaco Italia.

To read more, go to: [Italian language only]


“During Christmas, St. Peter’s Square and the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican will feature nativity scenes recalling that night in Greccio in 1223, and the message of St. Francis, which today is concretely and continuously attested to at the Shrine of the Nativity Scene in Greccio…”

“There will be many initiatives making up the program of the exhibition itinerary and the events of the ‘Valley of the First Nativity.’ This project was conceived by the Diocese of Rieti, Italy, and promoted, since 2017, with the Italian Friars Minor Province of San Bonaventura, the municipalities of Rieti and Greccio, and the Friends of the Nativity Association in Italy. All news and updates on the project and its program of events can be found at: [Italian language only] and on dedicated social media...”



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