Vieni Gesu! The solemnity of the Epiphany began this year with a great joy knowing that the original Bambino Gesù from San Salvatore on Onda Church, was coming to us. Since this much honored statue of the Holy Infant was permanently enthroned in St. Vincent’ Church, it is believed that this was the first time He was taken out to journey to the other side of the Tiber to our Sisters for the Great Feast of Epiphany.
The festive beginning of this day began with the Eucharist with Pope Benedict XVI in the Basilica of St. Peter’s followed by the Angelus with His Blessing. In the afternoon all the sisters from both communities awaited in the soft glowing lights in the chapel of the Generalate for our Special Guest – the Bambino Gesù of St. Vincent Pallotti, which was brought and welcomed cordially by Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General. For this occasion the sisters prepared a special prayer service, enriched by Christmas carols and presided by Fr. Jarosław Rachowiak, SDB.
After the traditional blessing of our two houses by “TheThree Kings” and bringing the Infant Jesus in procession to the chapel of the Procura, where we recited together with our invited guests: Fr. Jan Korycki, SAC, Br. Wojciech SAC, Salvatorian Fathers, and the Sisters from Via Moncenisio. At the end Fr. Jarosław gave his final blessiing with the Bambino Gesù, and afterwards everyone lined up to kiss the foot of Jesus, as Pallotti always did.
This ritual rekindled memories of St. Vincent Pallotti and his special love for the Infant Jesus. I recalled the words of our Pope, which portray the beauty and graciousness of the Epiphany as it was revived in our hearts: Jesus is as it were the explosion of God’s love, which causes the great white light of his heart to shine upon the world…. The saints are stars of God, by whom we let ourselves be led to Him for whom our whole being longs. Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI: 06.01.2012
Before leaving the chapel everyone was invited by Sr. Mariola Kruk, Superior of the Procura community, to common prayers followed by a festive supper. We sang Christmas carols in all possible languages and, as it is done every year, we chose by lot a special task – one related in some way to a service at Jesus’ crib. Additionally, a quotation of St. Vincent Pallotti was attached. This was really an enriching time of prayer, dialogue, and sharing of the charism of our spiritual Father and guide.
Fr. Korycki, brought another aspect to the evening by giving us the history of Pallotti’s Infant Jesus and the development of his Epiphany celebration in Rome. He also told us how the primary statues in the Creche in St. Peter’s Square, which belonged to Pallotti, came to rest in the Vatican. We can say that this solemnity of Epiphany, and the presence among us of the Bambino Gesù, were very joyous and dignified moments, which actually began our Pallottine Jubilee Year. The more we rekindle our hearts with the spirit of prayer, communion and peace, the more willingly we will be to share the light of Jesus with others.
Sr. Beata Matuszewska, SAC
Rome, Epiphany 2012