The Blessing of the Bambinelli (Baby Jesus) is a tradition which began in Rome. Each year on the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), the Holy Father invites children to bring the Baby Jesus (Bambinelli) from their family Nativity scene to Mass for a blessing. We have been encouraging the observation of this tradition in parishes for a number of years.
We also encourage parents and grandparents to join with their grandchildren in this simple but beautiful tradition. We hope that wherever you are in the world you are able to attend Mass on Gaudete Sunday. Don’t forget to bring the Bambinelli!
If you are unable to attend Mass because of Covid-19 restrictions you can still be part of this tradition by tuning in to Mass online and by praying this very simple blessing at home with the baby Jesus figurine from your nativity scene:
“And so as we gather on this Gaudete Sunday to bless the Bambinelli, we do so as we pray:
God, our Father
you so loved humankind
that you sent us your only Son Jesus,
born of the Virgin Mary,
to save us and lead us back to you.
We pray that with your Blessing
these images of Jesus,
who is about to come among us,
may be a sign of your presence and
love in our homes.
give your Blessing to us too,
to our parents, to our families and
to our friends.
Open our hearts,
so that we may be able to
receive Jesus in joy,
always do what he asks
and see him in all those
who are in need of our love.
We ask you this in the name of Jesus,
your beloved Son
who comes to give the world peace.
He lives and reigns forever and ever.
Blessing by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
After the blessing the children are invited to wrap up their baby Jesus and to place him under their Christmas Tree. On Christmas morning the Bambinelli is the first Christmas gift to be unwrapped and placed in the family crib.
Blessings to you all for Bambinelli Sunday!
You can download a printable version of this resource here: