Relics – Santo Bambino
Basilica di Santa Maria d’Aracoeli
Piazza del Campidoglio
An olive-wood figure of the Christ Child dating from the 15th century
that was carved by a Franciscan monk out of a tree from the Garden of Gethsemane.
The figure’s miraculous powers are supposed to include resurrecting the dead,
and it is sometimes carried to the bedsides of the gravely ill. If the bambino can
help the person, its lips turn purple; if not, they turn pale. At Christmas, the Christ Child
is moved to the creche (second chapel on the left), but usually it is located in the sacristy.
(Note the petitions and postcards placed in baskets by the faithful on either side of the statue.)