With the beautiful Rocky Mountains providing the backdrop, frost touching the tips of the trees and the sun shining, Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre and grounds were full of activity on Sunday, December 8. Once Upon a Greccio Christmas, the annual pageant in it’s fourteenth year drew a crowd of over 200.
The beautiful day was a gift, as young and old enjoyed a full afternoon. One did not have to go far to see someone enjoying a hot chocolate and cookie, gathering near the fire, delighting in a horse and wagon ride, being entertained by miniature horses and a mule or enjoying the warmth of the dining room and home-cooked chili before gathering for the pageant.
The bells chimed out and the crowds gathered and filled the pavilion to hear the Christmas story told from the point of view of St. Francis of Assisi. The pageant brought to life how St. Francis desired for people to be reminded of the birth of Christ in a real way. Children and youth in attendance took on the roles of animals, shepherds, angels and the wisemen. A young couple and their 3-month-old son humbly and beautifully portrayed Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, delighting the crowd. Carols filled the air as the story unfolded and invited all to remember the Bambino of Bethlehem as the true gift of Christmas.
Bambino of Bethlehem! Little Son of God!
Make us all the instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred. You sow love.
Where there is darkness, little Child you come to
bring light and come with joy.
Oh Bambino of Bethlehem… you are our joy!
Christmas Blessings of peace and all good!