2014-12-19 11:27:00

A Christmas crib in a Roman Church

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on 'Gaudete' Sunday blessed the so called 'bambinelli', to be placed in the crib on Christmas eve. Figurines of all shapes and sizes, depicting Baby Jesus Roman children bring with them at this time of year to Saint Peter's Square.

The Christmas crib or 'presepe ' as it's known in Italy is extremely popular across the nation and often takes pride of place in  family homes and of course in churches. Among these there's one in the heart of Rome, hidden away in the Church of  Santa Maria in Via which has all the elementsof the Neapolitan crib. But says our  Professor of Fine Arts Breda Ennis. But despite the presence of temples, pizza makers and market scenes nothing takes away from the central scene.

Listen to a programme for the series' Art on the air', the artistic secrets of sacred Rome' produced by Veronica Scarisbrick:

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