Messina, the procession of the Bambinello in the heart of the Christmas night


By John

The centuries-old procession of the Baby Jesus which is held every year on Christmas Eve has always aroused great fascination. A tradition that has been perpetuated in Messina since 1626 and that is organized by the Confraternity of Maria SS. of the light, today led by the extraordinary commissioner Marco Grassi, and since 1909, also by the Conventual Friars Minor. This is the only procession that takes place in the city on Christmas Eve. After the Eucharistic celebration at 11.30 pm, presided over by Brother Nestor Livera, the religious procession, departing at 1 am on December 25th from the Sanctuary of San Francesco all’Immacolata, will travel through the city center winding along the SS streets. Crispino and Crispiniano, piazza Gagini, San Giovanni di Malta, via Garibaldi and Muricello returning from via Mons. D’Arrigo, passing through piazza Casa Pia and San Vincenzo, accompanied by the band and the evocative sound of the bagpipes.

This year the Christmas holiday will be experienced more intensely because it marks 800 years since the first nativity scene, made in Greccio in 1223, by Saint Francis of Assisi and for the occasion Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to those who visit a nativity scene in a Franciscan church until February 2nd. Today the admission ceremony of two new brothers of the Maria SS Confraternity will take place. della Luce and on Christmas Day, at 1pm, the traditional lunch of the Community of Sant’Egidio will be held. Until January 7th it will be possible to visit the artistic exhibition of Bambinelli curated by Luca Maurotto.