By Christina Hermoso
Many Catholics traditionally observe the month of December as Divine Infancy Month in honor of the Child Jesus, “the center of all preparations and celebrations during the Christmas Season.”
Catholic Church officials have constantly reminded the faithful “to make Christ the center of all spiritual and material preparations during the holiday season, which should be a time of quiet preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Festivities and all forms of celebration should focus on honoring, glorifying, and adoring Jesus in His Divine Childhood,” Church leaders stressed.
In line with Pope Francis’ call to make the Church a “Church of the Poor,” the faithful are encouraged to pray the novena to the Infant Jesus, to reflect, offer sacrifices and do charity work,do penance and alms giving, and to remember the promise of the Divine Infancy, “The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.”
The observance of Divine Infancy Month recalls the first Christmas more than 2,000 years ago when Jesus humbled Himself and became completely human while remaining completely divine. Devotion to the Infant Jesus began in the small town of Bethlehem, where the shepherds and the Three Wise Men paid homage to the newborn Holy Child lying in the manger.
The observance also highlights the significance of the Nativity Scene or “Belen,” a reminder that “Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, is the center of the whole world’s history,” the Church said.
In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi, the revered founder of the Franciscan Order, set up the first known Nativity Scene inGreccio, Italy, which, to this day, remains as a popular Christmas fixture in homes, churches, offices, and other public places.
In the country, devotion to the Infant Jesus is year-round with almost every home adorned with an image of the Santo Nino.
Many festivities are held in honor of the Child Jesus,particularly during the month of January, which is observed as the Month of the Holy Child.
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