Next Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday, a day to rejoice in the Lord, as the Latin word gaudete (rejoice) indicates. During his pontificate, St. John Paul II chose this day to start a new Advent tradition which he called “Bambinelli Sunday." Bambinelli is the Italian word that means, "Little Baby Jesus."
Pope John Paul II invited all the Romans to come to St. Peter’s Square on that day for his Sunday Angelus. He instructed everyone to bring the Christ Child from their manger scene at home to the square. After the Angelus, everyone held up their Baby Jesus and he blessed them. The children especially enjoyed this little ceremony. Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued this tradition.
Next weekend, December 15 and 16, we begin Bambinelli Sunday at St. Peter’s. At the end of all the Masses we will bless your figures of the Christ Child that we encourage you to bring with you to church that morning/evening. We hope this will add a little something special for you when you place the “Bambinelli” in his crib in your manger at home on Christmas morning. This celebration is especially intended for the children of the parish.
DON’T FORGET YOUR BABY JESUS NEXT WEEK!
Little Baby Jesus, have mercy on us!
Fr. Tim Byerley
Photo credit: jacilluch via photopin