VETICAN CITY            -         A fragment of wood believed to have formed part of Jesus’ manger is set to be returned to Bethlehem after more than 1,000 years in Europe. Pope Francis ordered the return of the thumb-sized relic from Rome’s Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore as a gift. The relic had been in Rome since the 7th Century. It was briefly put on display in Jerusalem before continuing its journey to Bethlehem to coincide with the start of Christmas celebrations there. Officials said it would now be kept in the Franciscan Church of St Catherine, next to the Church of the Nativity, where tradition says Jesus was born. Christians believe the tiny piece of wood formed part of the crib that Jesus lay in after being born. Custodia Terrae Sanctae, the custodian of Catholic religious sites in the Holy Land, said the Patriarch of Jerusalem, St Sophronius, donated the relic to Pope Theodore I in the 7th Century.