The Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family just launched in Rome on Sunday, and already a (very fitting) mascot has emerged for the meeting: a baby.

If you’ve been following the Synod on Twitter, you may have seen pictures of this little guy:

So who is the baby who’s stealing hearts at on of the biggest Catholic events of the year?

His name is Davide, and he’s three months old.

He’s the 12th child to Italian parents – Massimo and Patrizia Paloni – who are originally from Rome and now serve as missionaries in Holland. They’ve been invited by Pope Francis to be auditors (non-voting observers) of this year’s Synod on the family, and every day they bring Davide to the Synod hall in his stroller.


To our knowledge, he’s the first baby to ever observe a Synod. So far, his parents said, he’s only cried once.

“We received a great welcome from the Secretary of the Synod; they’ve done everything possible to help us, by giving us a good place inside the hall to be with the baby,” Davide’s mother, Patrizia, told ACI Prensa.

The Palonis said they feel honored to be able to participate in the Synod with Davide, who was blessed by the Pope on one of the first mornings of the meeting.

“We introduced ourselves and he quickly blessed David. When he saw the little one, his face lit up and he looked really happy,” Massimo said.

Below is a video of the Paloni’s interview with ACI Prensa, with Spanish subtitles. (And even if you don’t speak Spanish, it gives you and even better idea just how adorable this baby and his family are.)

Long live #Synod15baby