For Gaudete Sunday each year, St. Peter's Plaza fills with children bringing the Child from their Nativity Scenes
Fifty years ago at the midday Angelus, St. Paul VI 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.”
Speaking from the window of his studio in the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis greeted the children present in St Peter’s Square, telling them to hold high their Baby Jesus figurines.
As children all over the Square lifted up the Baby Jesus statues of all sizes, the Holy Father assured them that he blessed them “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 that He became one of us, so that we in turn might become one with Him.”