The arrival of a baby in a home is always a reason for joy.
Even when it gives concerns, or when the conditions don’t look perfect to welcome a baby in this world, so hard even for adults, a baby that is about to come brings an immense joy and love.
A baby is not just a natural consequence of the union between a man and a woman, and it is surely a nonsense considering a child like an act of realization or confirmation. There is nothing selfish in having a baby, or at least there shouldn’t be, because a baby is a gift, and a gift must not be demanded nor claimed. Our society, the world we live in, seem to be progressively losing sight on what really matters, the true and authentic values on which our existence should be based on. We are constantly confused by wrong and misleading messages.
We’d like to think that, at least when it comes to a baby, it is the deepest instinct that speaks, that instinct that can only be found in the heart of a mother and a father, and that makes them recognize the immensity of the gift they are given. A gift that has to be accepted as such, with all the responsibility and love that something so big and precious deserves and needs.
Every child who is born is a gift, and a gift does not need to be claimed or claimed
Children are loved even before they are born, like the Pope said in a General Audience in February 2015. This kind of love is completely free, because a baby that is not born yet has not done anything to deserve to be loved, and that makes us think about God’s love. God loves us the same way, in confidence, so to speak, before we actually do something to deserve his love. He loves us because we are His children, and as such, worthy of love. So it is for every newborn, surrounded by his parents and God Father’s love, even inside his mother’s womb.
Talking about babies is a delicate matter, always has. Also in the Bible, children are emblematic figures, objects of immense joy when they come to the world, cause of unspeakable pain when they are prematurely lost. They are unique and special creatures. It is true that they are born carrying the Original Sin, washed away by Baptism, but it is also true that, since they are unaware of what a sin is and do not know about men and God’s laws, knowledge brought by time and experience, they are actually immune to the blame. A baby can sin, maybe even without realizing it, but it is exactly this lack of awareness that will keep him innocent anyway, without the gratification that is unfortunately common in adults when they do something bad.
Furthermore, once a baby will have even the smallest awareness of God’s existence, his Faith will be much stronger and more sincere than any adult’s, free from selfishness, hypocrisy, distractions and alibis. That’s because no one can love with the same intensity of a baby, with no limits, no inhibitions, no doubts.
All that makes God love children. Jesus always looked out for babies, so much that he uttered very hard, even cruel, words against those who threatened their safety and innocence. In Matthew 18:1-35 he states that those who will not be able to go back to be like a child, will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven. Again, in Matthew 19:1-30 he commands his disciples to let the children come close to him, and adds that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like them. These same ideas are reaffirmed also in Mark 10:1-52.
Parents getting ready to welcome a baby in their lives must be aware of the importance of the step they are about to take. It is actually a great responsibility to give birth and take care of such fragile creatures, and at the same time so precious to God’s eyes, untouchable according to His law! Parents must do all they can to guarantee the safety of the newborn, but also to guide the baby in his spiritual life. They will join him at the Holy water font to receive the Baptism, they will watch over his catechism taking part in it, making him understand the importance of the First communion, when the time will come. The parents will be in charge of showing their child what a real Christian is, of what he or she has to do so that, once the age for Confirmation comes, the child is aware of what this sacrament will make of him, recognizing him as a member of the church under all aspects. But the parents duties are not limited to that. It is very meaningful how they are supposed to follow their children’s life, from Baptism on, taking them to their Marriage, from one sacrament to the other, just like God Father does with each one of us.
A great gift then, a child, a new life that at least in part justifies the evil surrounding us, the pain and the injustices. It’s like God wanting to show us there is still hope with each newborn, that there is still room and time for love in this world. Until He will let such special creatures into this world, the world can be saved.
Preparing while expecting
The child, coming into this world, must immediately understand that he was strongly wanted and loved.
One of the most meaningful aspects of a new life is the parents’ preparation for the big event. A preparation that absolutely should not leave out the spirit, because, as we already said, becoming a parent is an important step, not easy at all. Even though we all are born with a natural predisposition to love and with a protective instinct towards children, all practical and theoretical contingencies demanded by the care for a newborn are not predictable nor easy.
There are of course pleasant aspects while expecting. Everything must be ready to welcome the baby, so that he understands from the very beginning that he was strongly wanted and loved by mom and dad since the moment he was conceived.
Here come the parents, working on setting up the baby bedroom. What should it be like? What will the baby like? What colors? What toys? It is hard to predict someone’s tastes, if that someone isn’t born yet! Even the most forward-thinking parent will only project his likings on the environment that will welcome the baby in his first weeks and months of life. The care and love of a couple of parents setting up the baby’s room immediately makes us think about a bird meticulously preparing the nest for its eggs. Just as the bird will do everything it can to guarantee its eggs, and later its chicks, protection and shelter, so the parents will try to give their baby commodity and safety, adding something nice, so that he can immediately understand that life can hold many wonderful surprises.
For Christian parents an object that can never miss in the baby’s room, and on the baby’s crib or bed, is the crib medal.
What is it?
The habit of hanging devotional medals and small creations in fabric or metal depicting sacred images above newborns cribs is very ancient. It was a way to protect the little ones from evil, to watch over their sleep and guarantee them Jesus, Mary and the guardian Angel’s protection as well. These are in fact the most recurrent images. In ancient times, medallions and medals for cribs could even be jewels, made of precious metals and polish, decorated with golden or silver filigree, or even with precious stones.
This tradition is common still today, and crib medals and medallions are very popular. They are often a gift for parents for Baptism, by the Godfather or Godmother, or by someone else who just cares for the baby’s fate. There are of any shape and material, in bilaminate silver and satin, or synthetic leather with embossed images and applications that make it suitable not just for cribs but also for the baby stroller.
On the stroller, we could just hang a simple medallion with a guardian angel image, tied with a satin ribbon.
They are usually of different colors: pink, if we have to ornate a girl’s crib; blue, for a boy’s crib; or white, suitable for both.
Crib medals and medallions with Angels
The guardian Angel is an image that children love very much. Since we are children we are told about this discrete and silent presence that walks by our side, always ready to reach out to save us from big fails, always attentive to our doubts and fears. For that reason, even if a newborn will not be able to understand that an angel is watching over him, representing the guardian angel on the crib medal on his bed will be a way to make this gentle and caring presence even more real and tangible.
A classic item, recalling past medals and medallions, is the crib medallion with angel, to hang on the crib, depicting the guardian angel protecting a boy or a girl. It is available with pink or blue ribbon and blanket.
For those who prefer a more modern and minimal design, there is the bilaminate crib medal, that is, made of wood with an aluminium plate, with a blue ribbon.
For a girl you can choose a pink oval-shaped medal crib with prayer, with a small carving of a guardian angel and embossed prayer. The bilaminate plate is applied on soft fabric finished with trimmings. The Crib medal is also a carillon: just press on the back to activate it.
Crib medals and medallions with Mary
Even Mary, the mother of all mothers, is often represented on crib medals. There are cute oval-shaped silver plate crib medals with Madonna, in fabric and trimmings. The bilaminate silver plate represents the embossed image of the Madonna of the Chair. On the plate the Hail Mary prayer is also carved, and the medal crib hides a Carillon that activates with a light pressure.
Many and original shapes, we were saying, like star-shaped crib medals with silver medal representing Mary holding Baby Jesus. They are made of velvet and available in white, pink and blue.
Crib medals and medallions with Jesus
Jesus loved children deeply, he wished their happiness above all things, and was willing to throw himself at those who threatened such happiness. That is why his face is particularly appropriate to decorate crib medals. There are rectangular crib medals with Jesus, made of silver bilaminate and fabric representing Jesus Face. Entirely made in Italy.
You can also find medal cribs with the Sacred Family, Father Pius, or others. These timeless objects connect their protective function with the merely aesthetic aspect, giving the crib a touch of grace and sweetness that perfectly express the love of the baby’s parents and their wish to watch over the baby under every point of view. The sound of the carillons often hidden by the medal cribs will help the baby sleep, will accompany his first dreams, sweetly cuddling him and making his rest more serene.