Bambino the name of the swaddled figure of the infant Savior, which, surrounded by a halo, and watched over by angels, occasionally forms the subject of altar- pieces in Roman Catholic churches. The Santissimo Bambino in the church of the Ara Caeli at Rome is held in great veneration for its supposed miraculous power of curing the sick. It is carved in wood, painted, and richly decorated with jewels and precious stones. The carving is attributed to a Franciscan pilgrim, out of a tree that grew on Mount Olivet, and the painting to the evangelist Luke. The festival of the Bambino, which occurs at the Epiphany, is attended by great numbers of country people, and the Bambino is said to draw more in the shape of fees than the most successful medical practitioner in Rome. — Chambers's Encyclopaedia, s.v.

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