Big-hearted Colin Farrell played secret Santa to some very sick children at a children's hospital in Dublin over Christmas.

Farrell arrived at Out Lady's Hospital in Crumlin and stayed for several hours on Christmas Day handing out presents.

Apparently he has made many such trips over the past few years, always in secret.

"He keeps a low profile when he comes in. He doesn't want photographers or anything," a hospital source told the Evening Herald about the actor's visits.

"He comes in every Christmas Day and spends a lot of time with the children.

"He has bought Nintendo DS and Wiis for them and plays with them for a couple of hours," the source said.

"He's really popular with the staff and really genuine, and the kids really love and appreciate his visit."

THe Christmas pilgrimage came ahead of another child-centered event - this time in Poland where Farrell and his girlfriend, Polish actress Alicja Bachleda-Curus, have baptised their baby son in Poland this Tuesday (Dec. 29)

Polish newspapers have published photographs showing the couple in the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Krakow at the baptism of their son Henry Tadeusz Farrell, who was born October 7.

Both Bachleda and his newborn had accompanied him to Ireland.

Farrell also has a six-year-old son, James, who suffers from a rare disease called Angelman Syndrome.

Farrell has credited his son with helping him straighten out his life which was once full of booze and drug binges.

"Colin's a real family-orientated guy and nearly always makes it back for Christmas anyway, no matter how busy he is with his filming schedule," said a friend.

"It is extra special this year thanks to the new baby."