THE POPE BAPTIZED 18 GIRLS AND 16 BOYS.
Pope Francis maintained the papal tradition when he marked Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. He did this by celebrating Mass within Sistine Chapel and baptizing 34 babies during the celebration. The pope told parents that love inside the home is the primary need for passing the faith. He said that the faith cannot be transmitted if love is absent between the father and the mother.
The pontiff made the sign of the Christian cross on each child’s forehead. He helped the siblings of the babies to do exactly the same to their younger sister or brother. Francis also recited every child’s name and then poured the baptismal water over the head of each baby. A majority of the parents are employees of the Vatican. The babies, for their part, did exactly what babies do. A few slept, few babbled and one was given a bottle of milk. Parents deftly juggled their pacifiers and prayer books as the pope spoke his homily. The pontiff’s speech was unscripted and short. He told the parents that they are responsible to pass their Catholic faith to children.
He stressed that faith should be passed within the members of the family. He added that faith transmissions occur only through the family dialect. It is the dialect spoken by mother, father, grandmother, and the grandfather. Pope Francis did not mind the crying of babies at all. He likened their cries to a musical concert. He told the mothers if their babies began to cry later during the ceremony, it means “they are not comfortable, or too hot, or they don’t feel at ease or are hungry,” and to “nurse them, without fear, feed them, because this, too, is a language of love.” The pope told the parents that only after love comes catechism. With the latter comes explanations and ideas. Parents must regard catechism as a secondary aspect and love as a primary aspect. He said children communicate the only way possible and that way is through crying.
Francis has previously made vocal his support for all nursing mothers in 2017. He compared babies and their mothers to baby Jesus and Virgin Mary. He told the mothers that they can breastfeed their babies if they want.
Catholic News Agency
NPR World Religion News