HSHS St. Francis Hospital invites the community to view a live recreation of the night of our Savior’s birth at a live drive-thru nativity scene on Thursday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the circle drive in front of the hospital. Attendees will also receive free hot cocoa kits and Christmas activity bags for children. 

St. Francis Hospital’s Director of Operations Aryn Hunter noted the history of the Nativity and the hospital’s connection with St. Francis of Assisi. “In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi began the tradition of commemorating the birth of Christ with a live Nativity near the city of Greccio, Italy,” said Hunter. “He was concerned that the hermitage would be too small for Christmas midnight Mass, so he set up an altar near the town square. He prepared a manger with hay and gathered live animals to illustrate the story of Jesus’ birth and this is how the tradition of the Nativity started and is still portrayed today.”

Volunteers from the hospital will take on the roles of Mary, Joseph and the three wise men in the Nativity scene. Participants must remain in their vehicles at all times.

Hunter said, “We are excited to bring back this visual reminder and celebration of the birth of Jesus to our community and are honored to follow in St. Francis of Assisi’s footsteps.”

In addition to this event, the campus of the hospital will be decorated with Christmas lights and a set of Christmas trees decorated by colleagues at the front of the building. “Our facilities team does a wonderful job with lighting and decorating St. Francis Hospital and it’s a treat every year for our colleagues to see. We welcome the community to come enjoy them this holiday season, too,” Hunter added. 

In case of inclement weather, event status updates will be posted on the hospital’s Facebook page, @StFrancisLitchfield.

Media Contact

Melissa Athmer

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 32258

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