THE ANGEL of lost things

special edition for the 30th crib

Punctual as every five years the Angel of Light returned in the Pozzo della Cava, but this time the angels of the Crib in the Well were two, with different, almost contrasting tasks and lights. On the one hand Gavriel, archangel “of the spirits”, a hybrid between man and animal, in direct contact with the Almighty, and on the other hand the extremely human Raziel, a little angel “of things”, whose narration accompanied the visitors along the caves. Love, in all its forms and the disagreement between heart and reason, between soul and body, were the theme of this thirty-year-old crib, with a “fixed-term” guardian angel who resembled so many parents who see the own children grow and escape from their protection. A strange story of clashes with the celestial spheres and of sincere affection between Raziel and Miriam, played entirely on the poignant thread of nostalgia.

From December 23, 2018 to January 13, 2018

Peace to you! My name is Raziel and I am an Angel of Things.
My task is to satisfy the small needs of the children entrusted to me, helping them to grow and giving them comfort. When the child Miriam, daughter of Anna “the sterile”, arrived at the Temple, she was immediately entrusted to my custody.
I quickly named her “Zachal”, which means “caterpillar”, both because she was small, shy and silent, and because she devoured with her tiny mouth the fruits that I took her every night in the basement.

The armless angel is Gavriel, the most important of the Archangels of the Spirits. He is the direct messenger of the Almighty. Since I was entrusted with Miriam, he always watched over my work with incredible attention and scruple. It was the unmistakable sign that great things were in store for my little caterpillar.

At the appearance of the menarche, at twelve, Miriam had to leave the Temple. From that moment Gavriel forced me not to let me see her again. I would not talk to my caterpillar anymore, he would never tell me about her dream of becoming a good weaver, I would not have comforted her in moments of solitude, nor would I bring her fresh fruit every night. I could not console her when, just fourteen, she fell in love with David, a young neighbor. I had to leave her alone to fight against her heart to fulfill the promise, made for her by her elderly parents, to become the bride of Yosef. But Miriam did it. She was getting strong. I was not there even there when Gavriel himself showed up to her, showing her in a vision she would become the mother of the Messiah. I would have given myself everything to see with what force and determination my adored Miriam received the invitation of the Almighty. Now it was clear: my little caterpillar was spinning his cocoon.

I could not accompany Miriam to her cousin Elisheba, nor could I take care of little Yohanan, because he had been entrusted, since birth, to an Archangel of the Spirits. Not even a simple Angel of Things like me could have been enough for him. Only the Almighty knows what I would have given to run to support Miriam when the priests submitted her to the ritual of the bitter waters to be sure that no man had lain with her. * But there was no need: that young woman faced the test with confidence and determination. Now it was clear: my little caterpillar was a solid and unassailable chrysalis.

* The ritual of bitter waters, also called “water of curse”, served to prove the infidelity of women accused of adultery: the priests mixed the blessed water with the dust of the Tabernacle and made the woman  drink it. If she writhed in pain, it meant that she was an adulteress, otherwise she was declared innocent.

The big day had finally arrived.
The Savior of the world had just been born and I wanted to see him.
And I wanted to see his mother again.
I did not have to be seen by anyone and I took advantage of a magical moment: Jesus had just drunk his first milk, Miriam and Yosef had fallen asleep and Gavriel had not yet gone to warn the shepherds, making them witnesses and messengers of the Good News.
It was only a moment, but it was worth all my life.
The Messiah had come into the world and my little caterpillar had become the most beautiful of the butterflies.

That gesture cost me dear: I was forever deprived of my light and of the possibility of becoming an Archangel of Spirits.
All this, however, did not prevent me from returning to see my Miriam again, taking advantage of the darkness of an eclipse of the sun.
I found her impassively under the cross on which Jesus was nailed, proud of his mission and sure of the Salvation of the Almighty through her own son.
I knew well that Miriam no longer needed my protection.
It had also been revealed to me that my caterpillar would soon become the Queen of all the Angels and Archangels, but I could not help but go and check. I had to see her again, at any cost.
I know that may seem completely crazy, but believe me, I always think of that little sweet and shy little girl, whom I consoled in the basement of the Temple, and I miss her so much.

Angel of Things


  • Hundreds of butterflies: the Nativity cave was adorned with hundreds of butterflies whose wings were slightly moved by the wind, like the sumptuous dress of the luminous Raziel
  • The last Nativity in the Well ?: a declaration by the author circulated on the local media saying that he was thinking of concluding the experience of the Nativity in the Well with the thirtieth edition; then, however, both the response of the public and new collaborations for the subsequent set-up made the event organizers desist from this purpose
  • Rete4: two tv transmissions dedicated their services to the 30th Crib in the Well: “Italian Recipes” with Davide Mengacci and “Travels of the Heart” with Don Davide Banzato

Concept – preparation – characters realization – graphic: Marco Sciarra | animatronic characters of the vision of the Annunciation: Andrea Giomaro | reborn Baby Jesus: Samantha Rose-Harker | Baby Jesus movements: Andrea Giomaro | faces, complexions and make-up: Andrea Giomaro – David Bracci – Sara Catanzaro – Carlo Diamantini – Erica Buzzi – Special Makeup Studio – Creature Studios – Marisa Paisio – Marco Sciarra – Francesca Montanari | consultant on Jewish names and traditions: Yaron Munza | positioning of the archangel inside the Pozzo della Cava: Marco Santopietro