Yuletide season is just around the corner. Streets are filled with lights and lanterns. Houses are adorned with Christmas trees full of baubles and trinkets and festive decors with hues of red and green.
Santa Claus and his elves checking the list of who is naughty and nice this year. But for our Catholic brothers and sisters, the Belen, or the nativity scene, is the star of Christmas.
Belen is the Spanish word for Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
Every Christmas, you will hear all about the Belen as it also refers to the crib or manger of Jesus, and it’s the word that is used for the nativity scene. During the festive period, they put up huge nativity scenes all over Spain, and most are located in town and central parts of the city.
But in a video uploaded to YouTube, a dog somewhat stole the spotlight from baby Jesus.
Back in 2008 in Brazil, a homeless German Shepherd puppy found shelter in one of the public nativity scenes in the area. Just as how Mary and Joseph struggled to find a place they can take refuge in when Mary was about to give birth.
Late September and early October is the autumn festival season on God’s calendar, one of the three times in the year when families would travel to Jerusalem to observe God’s Holy Days.
The population of Jerusalem swelled several times over to overflowing at this time. This affected nearby towns such as Bethlehem, a few miles south of Jerusalem.
Because of this huge influx of people, every house was filled. Joseph and Mary eventually found a place to stay – in a manger. Just as how this pup was looking for a place he can stay temporarily just to get through the night.
And the dog found the makeshift stable in Brazil as the perfect spot to keep him warm.
The puppy has found parents in Mary and Joseph, telling him bedtime stories before he sleeps. He found uncles in the three kings who doted over him as he lay down there. He has found a sibling in baby Jesus as he snuggled close to him.
He also found comfort and safety from the guardian angel behind him, lending him his invisible coat of protection. And lastly, found a company in the plastic animals surrounding him.
People were surprised the next day that a new character has been added to the nativity scene.
He instantly became an attraction as he nestled there perfectly in the crib next to baby Jesus. The spectators gushed over the puppy and the comical situation he has gotten himself into. They took pictures and videos of him to be circulated throughout the internet for the next years.
It’s astonishing to realize how the German Shepherd’s journey is akin to that of the Holy Family. How both of them found shelter in a much-unexpected place as they tried to survive the night.
The Christmas season is a season of giving. It’s a time to be compassionate for others.
Hopefully, someone with a golden heart adopted the adorable pup and taken care of him. Someone to give him the love and support he deserves. A real family this puppy can treat as his own, a place he can consider his home, where he can grow and be nurtured.
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