The painting, by Niccolò di Tommaso, is based directly on the vision of St Bridget, and was made soon after the saint’s pilgrimage to Rome in 1373. She herself is shown at the bottom of the image, praying her rosary. The starlit night is contrasted with the lit cave, the light source being the tiny Babe Himself.

We come to the crib, bringing our joys and our sorrows, knowing that all Eternity is held in this small space. At the Carol expresses it: ‘There is no rose of such virtue / As is the rose that bare Jesu; Alleluia. / For in this rose contained was / Heaven and earth in little space; Res miranda …’

May God bless you this Christmas, and the light of the Christ Child fill your heart this day.