Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Real Joy And Meaning Of Christmas

All eyes will look to Rome today, Sunday, December 13 as Pope Francis holds an event that celebrates children, Christmas and "bambinellis." Pope Francis and the children of Rome will gather in St. Peter's Square to bless their adorable bambinellis from their family's Christmas crčches.

Amy Welborn, author of the new children's book, Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing (, confirmed that Pope Francis would be celebrating the event this year. Here is the official announcement from the Italian site for "Benedizione die Bambinelli" ( or as Amy and illustrator Ann Engelhart refer to it in their new children's book, "Bambinelli Sunday."

What Is "Bambinelli Sunday?"

Each year on the Third Sunday of Advent, children gather with their families in St. Peter's Square for "Bambinelli Sunday." The children bring with them figures of the Christ Child -- the "Bambinelli" -- from their family's Nativity scene or precepe. During the noontime Angelus prayer, the pope blesses the children and the figurines they have brought.

The book Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing tells the story of one little boy, Alessandro, and what he learns about family, faith, and love one special day. It is a beautifully illustrated story for children who love to assemble their Christmas creches each year.

U.S. Parishes Celebrate Bambinelli Sunday

Perhaps more parishes will adopt the practice of a day to bless bambinellis? Amy Welborn has a growing list of parishes and celebrations.

Of course, the big event is today, with Pope Francis. Vatican watchers and photographers look forward to another colorful photo opportunity for Pope Francis with the children of Rome and their bambinellis!

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