Francis baptizes 32 babies, 17 boys and 15 girls. “This is the message that I would like to give you today. You bring your children today, [so they may have] the Holy Spirit within them. Now you must take care that they grow with light, with the power of the Holy Spirit within them, through catechesis, helping, teaching, the examples you will be for them in your homes ... This is the message ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Baptizing a child is an act of justice", because "in Baptism we give them a treasure, in Baptism we make them a pledge: the Holy Spirit". The Sistine Chapel was filled with teh cries of newborn infants tofay the day when the Church remembers the baptism of the Lord, and when Pope Francis, following tradition, baptized 32 babies, 17 boys and 15 girls.
A deliberately "familiar" ceremony, with the Pope speaking of a "concert" of crying infants and inviting parents to "uncover" them if they are hot, to breastfeed them if they are hungry.
In a completley unscripted homily, Pope Francis reflected on teh fact that “Like Jesus who went to be baptized, so you bring your children. Jesus replies to John: 'Let all justice be done' (cf Mt 3:15). Baptizing a child is an act of justice for them. You may wonder why? Because in Baptism we bestow upon them a treasure, in Baptism we make them a pledge: the Holy Spirit. The child emerges [from Baptism] with the power of the Spirit within: the Spirit who will defend them, help them, throughout their lives. This is why it is so important to baptize them as children, so that they may grow with the power of the Holy Spirit. "
“This is the message that I would like to give you today. You bring your children today, [so they may have] the Holy Spirit within them. Now you must take care that they grow with light, with the power of the Holy Spirit within them, through catechesis, helping, teaching, the examples you will be for them in your homes ... This is the message ".
“I do not wish to tell you anything else of note today. Perhaps, just one warning. Children are not used to coming to the Sistine, it is the first time! They are not used to being closed in an environment that is a little too warm. And they are not used to being dressed up like this, as beautiful as they are for today's celebration. They will feel a little uncomfortable at some point. And one will begin [to cry] ... - the concert hasn't started yet! - but one will begin, then the other ... Don't be afraid, let the children cry and cry. But rather, if your baby cries and complains, maybe it's because they are too hot: so take something off; or because they are hungry: breastfeed them, here, yes, always in peace. One thing I also said last year: they have a 'choral' dimension: it is enough for one to start ith a 'la' and everyone else will join in, and the concert will take place. Don't be frightened. It is a beautiful sermon when a child cries in church, it is a beautiful sermon. Comfort them and we will move on. Don't forget: bring the Holy Spirit to your children."
Francis personally baptized all the little ones, while the assistant bishops anointed them with holy oil and carried out the rite of effatà, which recalls the episode of the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus heals a deaf-mute, pronouncing the word " Effatà ". The celebrant touches the mouth and ears of the newly baptized saying "Effatà" so that he can soon hear the Word of God and profess the faith.