During the Christmas season, in Castelmonte a 'large' nativity scene is set up in the crypt which is renewed every year thanks to the imagination and art, combined with the faith and the Franciscan spirit, of the Capuchin Fathers and their friends.
"... And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn" (Lk 2:7). It is this so evocative chronicle of the evangelist Luke that is at the origin of the Christian tradition of the crib. In fact, the word 'crib' derives etymologically from the Latin verb praesepire (to fence in with a hedge) which by extension has taken on today's meaning of manger or crib, the place where baby Jesus is placed. The historical origin of the crib has its roots in many traditions and has followed various stages and evolutions, but certainly an important moment of this development concerns St. Francis of Assisi. Francis organized the 'first' nativity scene in Greccio, near Rieti, in 1223, to bring the 'Emmanuel - God with us' back into everyone's simple and ordinary daily life. In this way he grasped better than anyone the deep meaning of this scene of faith that everyone can see up close and recreate at home.
Today the crib of Castelmonte is a destination for groups or individual pilgrims, but above all for children accompanied by families, who wish to see up close a God who made himself small and still speaks today in the little ones.