Long, long time ago, in a distant country, lived a young girl called Maria..
Her father, Joachim and her mother Anna, lived with her in a village called Nazareth.
Mary was a happy girl, but a little different from other girls her age. She was very quiet and always thought that, rather than marry and have children, that was what all her friends wanted to do, wanted to fulfill the Scriptures and be a friend to everyone.
One day, when Mary was at home, an angel came and told her: "Hail Mary, full of grace ..." which means: "Hello Maria, you are very special !..."
And the angel said : - Do not be afraid. The Lord asked me to tell you that He is very happy with you, and so He will trust you His Son Jesus, who will be the Savior of all men . Maria replied: -OK, I want to do whatever it takes. I am ready to live according to His will!
In that village lived also Joseph, the carpenter, who was very fond of Mary ...
As they enjoyed to be together, Joseph and Mary decided to marry and form a new family, the family of Nazareth ...
It was a beautiful wedding and Joseph and Mary promised they would be friends forever!
After a while Maria knew she was going to have a baby and do you know what was the name she wanted to gave Him? That's right, it was Jesus!
One day, when they were at home, an emperor`s messenger cames and told them that the emperor wanted to know how many people lived in the country so, everyone had to move to his city of birth, in registering.
And that is why, Joseph and Mary, traveled to Bethlehem. By the way they met many people who also went to be enrolled.
Sitting on his donkey, Mary, who was expecting a baby, has very tired and so Joseph had to stop many times. It was almost dark when they saw Bethlehem.
When they entered the city, they found a crowd that was preparing to spend the night there.
Jose went to look for an inn where Mary could rest, but everything was full. An old women indicated them a cave outside the city, that served as shelter for animals. They could rest there.
And it was in the cave that night, that baby Jesus was born. As his parents were traveling, do not brought the clothes of the Child. Mary wrapped him in some swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.
Close to the cave , shepherds watched their flocks ...
Suddenly, they saw a very bright light in the sky and heard a voice. It was an angel who said: “Do not fear. I am the angel of the Lord and I came to tell you, that in that cave beyond you, is born Jesus who is the Savior of all men. Go worship Him and bring Him a gift for He is the KING of all kings! "
A choir of angels came down from the sky and sang: - Glory to Lord in heaven and on earth peace to men of good will!
Then the shepherds took their sheep and went to visit the Child just born.
They find Him in the cave, lying in a manger. The shepherds told Maria and Joseph, what they had heard about the Child. Joseph and Mary were amazed.
With her eyes fixed on Jesus, his Baby, Mary thought about all that was happening.
Far away, in a distant land, lived three wise kings. Every night they watched the sky to study the stars. One night they discovered a very bright star. They said: “It's the sign! It must have been born a very important king.”
The star was walking the sky. The three kings decided to follow it.
In Jerusalem they asked: - Where is the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the sky.
When King Herod knew that , he who did not like children, was very concerned and ask: “What, a new King? To get me the place? Where can he be?"
Then Herod called the three wise King to his presence and asked : - Please if you find Him, tell me, because I want to visit Him too.
They walk again in the way to Bethlehem and the star appeared to guide them to Jesus!
Finally the star stopped. - It must be there. - Said Gaspar -Here? It can not be! It is a cave! - Belchior said. - For animals! - Said Baltazar. But it was rigth in this cave, that they found Jesus with Mary and Joseph.
The three kings knelt and offered to Jesus the gifts they brought. They only could be offer to kings. It was: gold, incense and myrrh. Then said to Mary and Joseph, what they had read in the old books.
Holding the Baby in her arms, Maria thought about all that happened and kept all these things in her heart.
And the three kings, warned in dreams by an angel messenger of God, that Herod wanted to harm the Child, returned to their land without passing through Jerusalem. They were very happy because they have met Jesus.
Surrounded by his parents, inside His family, Jesus grew in grace and wisdom ...
This is the story of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the three wise kings, the star and the Angel. But this is not a story like other storyes, because this is a true story, which even today, after two thousand and nine years, fills our soul, touches our heart and makes us feel happier because we also know Jesus.
May, Baby Jesus, in this Christmas, fill your heart with His light and peace, is what we wish to you all.
Text done for me and the children in large group. Crib built in clay, pines and tissues by the children with a little hand from me. Images: Photographs made in classroom context. Valejas, Lisbon, Portugal Academic Year 2009/2010