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Pope visits Italian shrine

January 05, 2016

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the Sanctuary of Greccio on January 4 and prayed at the site where St. Francis of Assisi set up a living Nativity scene in 1223 in order to foster devotion to the infant Jesus.

The Pontiff, who was driven to Greccio from Rome, also visited the cell where St. Francis slept, the cell where St. Bonaventure slept, and the first chapel dedicated to St. Francis.

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