You are invited to bring the figure of the baby Jesus from your home crib to Mass next weekend Dec 10th/11th. The figures will be blessed at Mass. This tradition comes from Italy – hence its Italian name where bambino is a child!
After the blessing, the figure its taken home and wrapped. It’s the first thing to be unwrapped on Christmas morning and placed in the crib.
Children in school will also receive a drawing of the baby Jesus this week at school which they can colour and also bring to Mass next weekend.
The blessing of the “Bambinelli” [Baby Jesus figurines] as they are called in Rome, reminds us that the crib is a school of life where we can learn the secret of true joy. This does not consist in having many things but in feeling loved by the Lord, in giving oneself as a gift for others and in loving one another. Let us look at the crib. Our Lady and St Joseph do not seem to be a very fortunate family; their first child was born in the midst of great hardship; yet they are full of deep joy, because they love each other, they help each other and, especially, they are certain that God, who made himself present in the little Jesus, is at work in their story. And the shepherds? What did they have to rejoice about? That Newborn Infant was not to change their condition of poverty and marginalization. But faith helped them recognize the “babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” as a “sign” of the fulfilment of God’s promises for all human beings, “with whom he is pleased” (Lk 2: 12, 14). — Pope Benedict in 2009 at Bambinelli Sunday.