Each year on the 3rd Sunday of Advent (“Gaudete Sunday”), children in Rome gather with their families in St. Peter’s Square for “Benedizione del Bamninelli.” The children bring with them the “Bambinelli” – the Christ Child figurines – from their family’s home crèches, and at the noon Angelus, the Pope blesses the children, their families, and the figurines they have brought. On Gaudete Sunday, we will unite our hearts to the Holy Father’s and the children and families gathered with him and bless our own “Bambinelli.” So bring the Bambinello from your home crèche to Mass! They will be gathered up by the children at the offertory and blessed at the conclusion of Mass.
“Advent and Christmas are about welcoming the Word of God into our lives – which means our homes. The blessing of the Bambinelli – which we bring from our homes and return there – is an embodiment of this.”— Amy Welborn