At Christmas Eve, before going to church,the family is praying around the fireplace, where the traditional log is burning. Little Francis is touched and, thrilled, admires the scene of Bethlem. Infant Jesus caresses the little boy from Pietrelcina. Now Mary’s smile confirms that the baby with his life will be the Redeemer’s announcement.

It’s an Announcement

In the fireplace the log is already burning.

All around it,all the faces form a ring.

The prayer is rising softly.

The whirling flame paints them

as giants on the ceiling and the wall.

Francis is thinking of that night,

when he saw Virgin Mary with Jesus

just born and placed on the straw

in the poor hut in Bethlem

and hardly out of shame holds back his tears.

“ O sweet Virgin Mary, o so good Mother,

now you’re pressing him to your breast,

as you can, you wrap him in the nappies,

but when you want I’ll press him

on this heart dying of love ”.

Francis doesn’t see the fireplace anymore,

but only that crib in Bethlem.

The little Virgin Mary says sweetly:

“ Francis, kiss my Baby.

Don’t you see he’s looking and smiling at you? ”

Francis, very shy, gets closer.

Jesus holds out his face and little arms to him,

gives him the Paradise with a kiss.

Now you’re smiling, little Virgin Mary!

Francis became an announcement  all over the world.

Translated by Marilisa Cannarsa

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