Parishioners with their baby Jesuses line up for the Blessing of the Bambinelli at the Church of the Nativity at Holy Trinity on the third Sunday of Advent.

Parishes and schools in the Diocese of Syracuse are continuing a papal tradition this Advent: the Blessing of the Bambinelli.

Originated by Pope Paul VI in 1969, the blessing takes place each year in Rome on the third Sunday of Advent. Children bring the Christ Child (Bambinelli) from their family nativity scene for a blessing from the Holy Father. Throughout the years, many Catholic churches worldwide have participated in this unique and beloved tradition, which reinforces the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.

   Parishes in the diocese offered the blessing during Masses Dec. 12 and 13, and Catholic schools students are taking part as well. On this page are scenes from the blessing at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Binghamton; visit for more photos and video of other blessings in the diocese.


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