Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Barefoot Shepherd arrives

Every year in our Cathedral of St Francis De Sales in Baker City, just after the three Kings make their punctual arrival in front of the Nativity, a strange character arrives to adore baby Jesus. This is the barefoot shepherd, who kneels down and takes his sandals off and prays for a while in front of the Savior, surrounded by his mother and father, Mary and Joseph and a group of other shepherds. Recollecting the words that God told Moses on approaching the burning bush, "Remove your sandals from your feet, because this is sacred ground," our shepherd promptly takes off his sandals out of respect. He knows this is holy ground and he can only approach the infant child in utter humiliation and admiration. 

The exact place where Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

The place where Jesus was born in Bethlehem is marked with a piece of glass where people can look through and see the ground underneath. Surrounding the glass underneath the main altar is a star with the inscription “Here Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary”, and 15 lamps are continuously lit, 6 belonging to the Greek Orthodox, 5 to the Armenians and 4 to the Catholics, and it’s their responsibility to make sure they are never extinguished. Besides, the room where Jesus was born and where the star is placed, has a low ceiling, and you can only enter in bowing down, out of respect, literally on your knees, in adoration to Jesus.

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