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It is well known that an infant is someone who still does not speak.
In my day, infants looked like little mummies: they swathed us so pretty. The use of swaddling babies has been in vogue since time immemorial. He had also looked to Jesus: in fact when he was born "[Mary] wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger" (Lk 2: 6).
Swaddling was said to help keep us from growing up with crooked legs. But! … could be?
I have much more practical and much less aesthetic opinions on this subject.
But as soon as they were free from the swaddling clothes, the children kicked around at full blast and found in that new part of the body (now accessible) some easy toys at hand: both in the two legs and in the two feet. So one fine morning it happened to me, while my mother in the adjoining kitchen was preparing the baby food, to find a big toe (the so-called big toe) in my mouth. I opened my mouth, to draw my mother's attention to the phenomenon and so I let go: it has never happened to me since.
But I've never forgotten it.
The painting of our Madonna  Pia reminds us that Jesus also liked to play with his feet.
At least this is what the painter suggests with the little Baby Jesus who velvets the sole of his left foot.
But it is not only Nicolò da Voltri to tell us
You can also see it in the three paintings by Italian painters of the 1300s and 1400s below.

Barnaba da Modema
Domenico di Bartolo
Taddeo di Bartolo

Also the Madonna and Child by Nicolò da Voltri (the same author of the Madonna di Pia),
that we can still see today in the San Donato church in Genoa is further confirmation of this
Postal Address:
Abbazia S. Maria di Finalpia
17024 Finale Ligure Pia (SV) Italy
Telephone +39 019 602 301  Fax: +39 019 604 9940
updated 10 February 2024
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