Nacimiento Shrine Niche at Capilla de Belén

Nicho de Nacimiento de la iglesia de belén

Nacimientos are Nativity (Navidad in Spanish) scenes shrines made to celebrate during the December until Christmas or Navidad in Spanish. On December 8th, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated and with this the ‘Religious Christmas Season’ is officially started. Last year, I showed you the Nacimiento in the barrio de la Virgen Inmaculada de la Concepción.

Today, I rather show you the Nacimiento niche at the Capilla de Belén (Bethlehem chapel) located right across the house that belonged to Santo Hermano Pedro de Betancourt (Saint Brother Peter of Betancourt). You can see the Nacimiento shrine niche in context if you follow the white rabbit to Façade of Belén Church in Antigua Guatemala.

One important aspect of this particular Nacimiento is the fact that Santo Hermano Pedro de Betancourt managed to get himself in the picture of the Nativity shrine. For those who are not well verse in Catholic imagery, myself included, normally the Nativity scene shows Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus along with a few animals. No, Santo Hermano Pedro could not be present there since he was born about 1600 years later, give or take a few moons. Rather, the inclusion of his image, on the right, is to celebrate and to remember that it was Santo Hermano Pedro de Betancourt who introduced the Nacimiento and Posadas to the American Continent, to La Antigua Guatemala if you want to be precise, and from this old town, this celebration was taken to the rest of the continent. (Thanks to JM Magaña for pointing it out to me.)

© 2007 – 2020, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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