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Rome Reports

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Bambinelli Sunday at the Vatican: Pope Francis blesses thousands of Baby Jesus

There was a lot of enthusiasm in St. Peter's Square on Sunday as the Pope led the Angelus.  The third Sunday of Advent is described as 'The Sunday of Joy.' Pope Francis reminded the crowd, that Christianity and joy go hand in hand.   

POPE FRANCIS

 "Jesus came to bring joy to everybody for Eternity. It's not a joy we have to wait for in Paradise. It's not as if we have to be sad here and only happy there. No. It's not like this. It's true joy that we can experience."   

To highlight this point even more, the Pope asked all pilgrims to repeat along with him that Christian joy is real.  

POPE FRANCIS 

"Let's say it all together: With Jesus, our joy is found within.  Without Jesus, is there joy? No! That's right. He is alive and He is Risen. He works within us and among us, especially through the Gospel and the Sacraments."  

Pope Francis went on to say that Jesus gives Christians the strength to face daily problems. He cited the example of the Saints, who overcame challenges through joy.   

POPE FRANCIS 

"One never hears of a sad saint or a saint with a long face. Never! That wouldn't make sense."  

The third Sunday of Advent is also known for the tradition of the so called Bambinelli. Thousands of Italian children take a Baby Jesus from their Nativity Scene and take it to St. Peter's Square so it can be blessed by Pope Francis.   

At the end of the Angelus, Pope Francis surprised the crowd, by giving out a small prayer book.