Click image to enlarge it of the reliquary, designed by Bernini, holding the actual manger crib from the Nativity of Jesus: four boards of sycamore wood brought to the church, together with a fifth, in the time of Pope Theodore 1 (640–649 A.D.)
PRAYER. (From the Church Approved *Raccolta)
"I adore thee, Incarnate Word, true Son of God from all eternity, and true son of the Virgin Mary in the fulness of time! Adoring thy divine person, and the humanity which is united to it, I feel moved, moreover, to venerate the poor crib which welcomed thee, an infant, and was truly the first throne of thy love. Would that I could prostrate myself before it with the simplicity of the shepherds, with the faith of Joseph, with the love of Mary! Would that I could bend in adoration of so precious a memorial of our salvation, with the spirit of mortification, of poverty, of humility, with which thou, the Lord of heaven and of earth, didst choose a manger to receive and shelter thy trembling limbs! Do thou, O Lord! who, while yet a babe, didst deign to rest in this crib, vouchsafe also to pour into my heart a little of the joy excited in those who beheld thy lovely childhood, and the wonders which accompanied thy birth; through which I beseech thee to give to the whole world peace and good will, and, in the name of all mankind, to render all thanksgiving and glory to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, who, with thee, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen."
(Indulgences) To increase, in the hearts of the faithful, reverence and devotion for the crib of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is kept with the utmost veneration in the patriarchal basilica of S. Mary Major, his Holiness, Pope Pius IX., by a brief, Oct. 1, 1861, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall say this prayer in the basilica of S. Mary Major: An indulgence of two hundred days, once a day.
To those who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall say it anywhere, he granted, in like manner, An indulgence of one hundred days, once a day.
*"The Raccolta; or, Collection of Prayers and Good works, to which the Sovereign Pontiffs' have
Attached Holy Indulgences", pp. 75-77, by Congregatio indulgentiarum et sacrarum reliquiarum, 1878)
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