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crib. The Vatican's own 750-yearold crib is carved in stone. But the most venerated is surely that preserved in a silver reliquary beneath the main altar in the Basilica of Se Mary Major. Kept there are the five sycamore boards which according to tradition belong to the actual crib in which the Infant Jesus lay after His birth.
In Assisi and Greccio, Naples and Reline Lago, cribs with real men are prepared. At Greccio they recall Christmas F,ve 1 223 when St. Francis built there the first crib the world knew and to-day, more than 700 years later, a live donkey and a live ox stand with the men by the manger. At Assisi, Midnight Mass will he celebrated over the tomb of the " Saint of the Crib."
TO the other side of the world again, to Sydney, where in Hyde Park this week a giant Christmas pageant, sponsored by all denominations, is part of a big campaign to restore the spiritual significance of Christmas.
NEARER home to news of
" hiestmas " conversion cards " pledging those who sign them to eork for the conversion of a nonCatholic the cards being placed heside the cribs in churches during the Christmas Octave.
FASTWAR DS to East Berlin
where Sputniks couldn't stay out of the celebrations. Decorate your Christmas tree with to Soviet space satellites, the CommuniSts say. "The Sputnik decorations would look so nice if red stars and golden hammers and sickles were painted on their silver shells" the East Berlin Communist daily, " Neues Deutschland," told its readers.
HOME to advertisement hoard
ings dotted again with those excellent " Peace arid goodwill " posters issued by the Christmas Poster Campaign: to stories ot cribs in the big stores, in the link
shops, in market places, in Shopping streets. outside town halls and even cribs on wheels. nearly all the result of painstaking efforts of little groups of people doing their part to spread the message of Christmas.
One happy family story can conclude this " %% odd tour." It is ol Mr. and Mrs. Albert Archibald end their I I children who live in Penieuik, Scotland.
This happy family are havine their most memorable Christmas ever for they have gone to Rome for the ordination of the eldest of their seven sons, John. at the Propaganda ('ollege, tomorroe (Saturday). On the same day, the youngest boy, seven-year-old Andrew, will receive his First Holy Communion at the first Mass of his brother. while another brother, Matthew 122 on Christmas Day), will be serving the Mass.