“And now I address myself very especially to you, dear children of Rome, who have come for the blessing of the Bambinelli [figures of Baby Jesus], said Pope Francis after the Angelus on Sunday, December 16, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent knows as “Gaudete” Sunday, marked by liturgical joy and the rose-colored priestly vestments.
The Holy Father greeted the Auxiliary Bishop for the Center of Rome, Monsignor Gianrico Ruzza, who accompanied the families and the school representatives, and he thanked the Roman sponsors and volunteers of the Center.
It’s a tradition in Rome for children, their families, the schools, the communities and the parishes to come to have the figures of the “Infant Jesus” of their Cribs blessed in St. Peter’s Square by their Bishop on the Third Sunday of Advent.
The Pope explained to the children that they would be “astonished” when contemplating the Infant in the Crib. “Dear children, when you gather in your home to pray before the Crib, when fixing your gaze on the Infant Jesus, you will feel astonished . . . “
An astonishment that the Pontiff explained thus: “You are going to ask me what does “astonishment” mean? It’s a stronger feeling and more than an ordinary emotion. It’s to see God — astonishment before the great mystery of God made man.”
The Holy Father also stressed the humility, tenderness and goodness that emanates from the Crib and from Jesus. “And it’s the Holy Spirit that will put humility, tenderness and the goodness of Jesus in your heart. Jesus is good, Jesus is tender, Jesus is humble. That’s the true Christmas! May it be so for you and all the members of your family. I bless all the Bambinelli.”