It is customary in Rome, and elsewhere in Italy, to keep the presepe (Nativity scene) up until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This extended Christmastide allows for a prolonged contemplation of the Incarnate Word. It is an invitation to enter deeply into the mysteries of Our Lord’s infancy and childhood in the company of the Virgin Mother, of Saint Joseph, of the shepherds, the Magi, Anna, Simeon, and a whole host of saints through the ages.
Yesterday I went with a friend to pray in the room of the Servant of God, Abbot Ildebrando Gregori, O.S.B. (1894–1985) on the Via della Conciliazione. I photographed the Bambino still lying sweetly on the altar of the little chapel of the Benedettine Riparatrici del Santo Volto.
I also photographed my own Bambino for you. Since my arrival here in Rome, He lies on a clothed trimmed in lace that my Nana Barbato made by hand some sixty or seventy years ago. Next to Him is my relic of Saint Peter Julian Eymard.