A tradition begun by St. Paul VI was continued this December 11 by Pope Francis: blessing the statues of Baby Jesus that are placed in families’ Nativity Scenes, and today were brought to the Square by children.
The tradition takes place on the Third Sunday of Advent, and is fondly known as “Bambinelli Sunday.”
“And now I bless the ‘Bambinelli,'” Pope Francis said, “that is, the statuettes of the Infant Jesus that you, dear children and young people, have brought here and then, on your way home, will put in the crib.”
The Pope asked the children to pray to Little Jesus, with a very special intention:
I invite you to pray, in front of the crib, that the Lord’s Christmas will bring a ray of peace to the children of the whole world, especially those forced to live through the terrible and dark days of war, this war in Ukraine that destroys so many lives, so many lives, and so many children. The blessing of the Infants… [he blesses them].