- Italian: child
A figure of the Infant Jesus, usually of wax, represented as in the manger or crib at Bethlehem, and exposed in Catholic churches from Christmas to Epiphany. It owes its origin to the devotion of Saint Francis of Assisi in the early 13th century. Il Santo or Santissimo Bambino is the name given to a jeweled, wooden figure of the Infant Saviour in the Franciscan church of Ara Creli, Rome. According to legend it was brought from the Holy Land about 1647. It is carried in procession on Christmas Day as well as on the Epiphany, and is reputed to possess miraculous powers. Of the various other celebrated bambini the most notable are in the Trappist monasteries at Kensington, London, Staplehill in Dorset, and Mount Saint Bernard in Leicestershire, England.