Sandigang Kaalaman: ANG BANAL NA SANGGOL SA SABSABAN (12.12.22)

SANDIGANG KAALAMAN
(Catechism series on the spirit of the Liturgy during Advent and Christmas)

THE HOLY BABY IN THE MANGER

This tradition began during the tenure of Pope John Paul II. It is celebrated with children and their families. They gather at St. Peter's Square in Rome every Gaudete Sunday or third Sunday of Advent for the blessing of the Gesu Bambino, the little Baby Jesus.

Every third Sunday of Advent, children bring their bambinelli images in their hands or in their nativity bags to their homes.Others bring the Bambinellis by their friends and neighbors who cannot attend the said celebration. Every noon during the Pope's speech after praying the Angelus, they are invited to raise their images for a special blessing of the images of the child Jesus, children, and their families.

Upon returning to their homes, the image is kept in a place where it cannot be seen until the appointed time arrives so that it can be placed in the crèche or nativity scene to signal the arrival of the Lord Jesus in our homes and hearts in the celebration that we fully prepared.

Another suggestion is that after blessing the image of the baby Jesus and it will be brought home, it will be placed in a box that will be wrapped as if it were a gift and kept in a respectable place until Christmas day. And this will be the first gift that your family will open on the eve of Christmas and together they will place the image of the baby Jesus in the manger as a welcome on Christmas day.

Note that the image of the Bambino, the baby Jesus in the manger is different from the image of the Sto. Niño (standing image of Jesus dressed as a king and holding globe and scepter) which has its own festival celebrated every January.

PRAYER OF BLESSING

Let's pray.

Our Creator Father,
such is your love for mankind,
you sent your only Son,
and born of the Virgin Mary
to save and lead us back to you.
We bow down to your blessing
in these images of Jesus
coming to us,
let it be a sign of your stay and love in our homes.
Father is the fountain of goodness
bless and bless us too,
our parents,
our families
and our friends.
Open our hearts
when we received Jesus with joy,
we fulfill his lessons,
and we can reflect him to all those who lack love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
your beloved child,
who came to bring peace.
He who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
forever
Amen.

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