We are encouraging everyone, young and old, to bring their statue of baby Jesus from their home Nativity set (the “Bambinelli” in Italian) to church for a special blessing before Christmas. The Bambinelli Blessing is customary on the Third Sunday of Advent.
The celebration of Bambinelli Sunday is a Vatican tradition. Children from Rome bring to St. Peter’s Square the figurine of the Christ Child from their families’ Nativity set. Then, following the Sunday Angelus address, the Holy Father blesses the statues of Baby Jesus, which the children will take back home to be placed under their Christmas trees. Parishes like ours, worldwide, now join in the celebration, encouraging young children to make the connection between the Nativity set at home and the local church where they worship each weekend.
We hope that you will participate in this powerful witness to the celebration of the birth of our Savior.
We also recommend you read Pope Benedict XVI’s Angelus from December 13, 2009, on blessing the Bambinelli, and see how it reminds us that Christ’s crib is a school of life “where we can learn the secret of true joy.”