Follow Us:
Register For Free Recipe Access & Weekly EBlasts

Food for Thought: Merry Christmas, The Manger Scene & Mangia Bene!

Posted: December 23, 2015 | Author: Fr. Leo

The word "manger," the place where the Lord Baby Jesus was placed, is the same root word as the Latin influenced word in Italian, "Mangiare" - which means TO EAT!  "Mangia Bene!" simply means, "Eat Well!"

Families celebrate around the dinner table this holiday. Keep it going beyond the holiday!

That's what the Christmas Season is all about!  

We recall that Eve ate the "forbidden fruit" and fed this to Adam.  At Christmas, God reverses the negative trajectory of sin by His infusing infinite grace in Mary, the New Eve who feeds the New Adam, Jesus, in her Womb.  And to the entire world, Mary gives to us the remedy to those who have eaten of the forbidden fruit by giving us the One Bite of the Blessed Fruit of her womb!

As you and your family celebrate Christmas, I pray that you all Mangia Bene - that you Feast Well on the infinite love of God placed in the manger!  To recall the beautiful history of God's saving grace, consider creating a new family tradition by blessing the manger scene in your home.  

Nativity of Jesus by Sandro Botticelli (Courtesy of: Wikipedia)

This is a blessing from the USCCB "Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers":

Blessing Of A Christmas Manger Or Nativity Scene

In its present form the custom of displaying figures depicting the birth of Jesus Christ owes its origin to St. Francis of Assisi, who made the Christmas crèche or manger for Christmas Eve of 1223.  The blessing of the Christmas manger or nativity scene may take place on the Vigil of Christmas or at another suitable time.  When the manger is set up in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a  parent or another family member.

(+) All make the sign of the cross as the leader says:

Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R/. Who made heaven and earth.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example, Luke 2:1 (lines 1-8) or Isaiah 7:10 (lines 10-15, the birth of Emmanuel).

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.

R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The leader prays with hands joined:

God of every nation and people,
from the very beginning of creation
you have made manifest your love:
when our need for a Savior was great
you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace,
justice, mercy, and love.

Lord, bless all who look upon this manger;
may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus,
and raise our thoughts to him,
who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
and who lives and reigns forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

—From "Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers"

May you and your family experience God's infinite and unconditional love of Jesus, the Savior, born of the God-made-Immaculate Mother Mary, and protected by the Holy and Faithful St. Joseph.  Merry Christmas to all of you and thank you for being a part of the Grace Before Meals Family.  

The Holy Family by Juan Simon Gutierrez (Courtesy of: Wikipedia)

If you want to support our non-profit group to elevate culture and family life, one meal at a time, please visit and donate at

Make your 2015 donation by December 31, 2015 to help spread the Gospel through the power of food.