Bambinelli are what the Italians call the little baby Jesuses that are placed in the Nativity scenes.
As is tradition, on the third Sunday of Advent, children bring their baby Jesuses to the square for the papal blessing.
It gives me great pleasure to renew the beautiful tradition of the blessing of the "Baby Jesus" statuettes of the Child Jesus that will be laid down in the manger. I refer especially to you, dear boys and girls of Rome who came this morning with your "Baby Jesus", which I now bless.
Big or small, wood or ceramic, a statuette of every kind could be seen.
The children held them high as the Holy Father blessed them from his window above.
We pray to you, so that with your blessing, these images of Jesus, Who is about to come among us, may be in our homes as a sign of your presence and your love.
With the blessing complete, the children will now have to wait until Christmas Eve before placing the bambinelli in their cribs.