Sunday, December 15, 2019

Pope Francis Blesses the Bambinelli in Rome

Today in Rome:

It was during the Angelus fifty years ago that St. Paul VI first blessed the statues of the Child Jesus brought by children to St. Peter's Square. That tradition has continued ever since on the Third Sunday of Advent, and is fondly known as “Bambinelli Sunday.”

Bambinelli Sunday

The theme chosen by the Roman Oratory Centre for this appointment with Pope Francis on Sunday was "It's Christmas here too", selected for this blessing to remind everyone, young and old, that Jesus is born in every place.
Speaking from the window of his studio in the Apostolic Palace, the Pope greeted the children present in St Peter’s Square, telling them he blessed the statues of the Child Jesus for their Christmas Scenes “with all my heart.” Recalling his recent Apostolic Letter on the meaning and importance of the Nativity Scene, he said, "the crib is like a living Gospel. Contemplating the Christmas story is like setting out on a spiritual journey, drawn by the humility of the God who became man in order to encounter every man and woman.” “So great is His love for us”, quoted the Pontiff, “that He became one of us, so that we in turn might become one with Him.”

Another Bambinelli story here:

It's a Christmas book. From the publisher:

Alessandro is staying with his grandparents, who run a small shop that sells figures for the presepe (Nativity scene), while his parents look for work in another country. To help with the boy’s loneliness, his grandfather encourages Alessandro to make his own figure of the baby Jesus. They will bring that figure to Rome in two weeks to have it blessed by the Holy Father on Bambinelli Sunday. Through the events that occur in the time leading up to receiving the blessing in St. Peter's Square, Alessandro comes to see his world in a new way, and receives the best surprise of all in the end. 
  This book for children ages 7-10 tells a wonderful story about sharing, comfort, generosity, and forgiveness through the lens of a long-standing Italian tradition. The beautiful illustrations and timeless story make this a treasure Advent and Christmas resource for generations to come.

Buy the book on Amazon