Child Jesus: December 2007 Archives


I pray thee, O Most Holy Virgin Mary,
that I might hear the Heartbeat of redeeming Love,
and that with Thee
I might adore the Heart of Jesus
formed in Thy womb by the Holy Spirit.

Through the Holy Spirit,
by whose power and overshadowing Thou didst become
the living tabernacle of the Heart of God,
may my soul rejoice in Thy every visitation
and leap in recognition of Him
who through Thee deigns to come to me.

Through the Holy Spirit
by whom Thou wert illumined by faith,
quickened by hope,
and inflamed with charity,
grant that I may believe all that the Sacred Heart of Jesus has revealed,
never despair of His boundless Mercy,
and burn with the fire He came to cast upon the earth.

In the Holy Spirit,
Thou adorest the Heart of Thy Son as the Heart of Thy God;
in that same Holy Spirit,
grant that I may adore the Heart of my God
as the Heart that, hidden in Thy womb, once beat beneath Thy own:
the same Sacred Heart that, pierced upon the Cross,
fills the heavens with glory
and the earth with mercy.

The Santo Bambino of the Aracoeli

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One of my favourite little pilgrimages in the Eternal City is to the Santo Bambino Gesù in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Aracoeli means "altar of the heavens." The present basilica stands on the site of an altar built to the glorious Infant God seen by the Emperor Octavian Augustus in a prophetic vision.

The statue of the Infant Jesus dates back to the fifteenth century. It is, according to tradition, the work of a Franciscan friar who carved it from the wood of an olive tree of Gethsemani. Over the centuries, the faithful have honoured this holy image of the Infant Jesus with rich garments, with crowns, and gifts of gold and precious stones. And so continues the procession of the Three Magi bearing gifts.

Every year, little children of all ages address letters of petition to the Santo Bambino. They write to Him as to their King, confident in the merciful goodness of His Heart. During Christmastide the children of Rome visit the crib of the Santo Bambino in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, to preach little sermons, to recite poems, and to sing to Him.


On the 25th of every month it is customary to bless oil taken from the lamp that burns before the Santo Bambino. The oil is distributed in small bottles and is used in praying for the sick. I often use the "Oil of the Infant Jesus" in this way. One can obtain it at the Church of the Aracoeli.

The Child Jesus is Eternal High Priest and King of the Universe. Already in the mysteries of His infancy, He took upon Himself the infirmities and weaknesses of all men. Even as a Child, Our Lord presented Himself before His Father's Face as a Priest offering Himself, the Spotless Lamb. Those drawn to honour and contemplate the Infant Jesus do well to pray for the sick, anointing them with blessed oil, a sacramental of the Church, in His sweet Name. The Name of Jesus is, itself, an oil poured out for the healing of souls and bodies.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory