Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pope Francis blesses the Bambinelli

Today, in Rome:

 Pope Francis on Sunday blessed the figures of the Christ Child, which shall be placed in the mangers of Christmas crèches in and around Rome and throughout Italy this Christmas season.
The Pope gave the traditional blessing on the day of the “children’s Jubilee” – a Year of Mercy celebration devoted especially to children and young adolescents.
“Dear children,” said Pope Francis in greetings following the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, “listen carefully: when you pray before your Nativity Scene, remember to pray also for me, as I shall remember you.” The Holy Father concluded his greeting, saying, “I thank you heartily – and have a Merry Christmas!”

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