Pope Francis: Celebrate the date of your baptism like a birthday
Pope Francis baptized babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday and encouraged parents to teach their children to celebrate their baptism anniversary each year.
On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Jan. 8, the pope baptized 13 babies and presided over Mass beneath Michelangelo’s frescoes.
In a brief off-the-cuff homily, the pope said that baptism is like a rebirth in Christ and therefore should be celebrated “like a birthday.”
“Dear parents, thank you for bringing your children here to have them enter the Church. This is a good day,” Pope Francis said.
“It is like a birthday because baptism makes us reborn in the Christian life. That is why I advise you to teach your children the date of their baptism as a new birthday: that every year they will remember and thank God for this grace of becoming a Christian.“
Following the homily, the Sistine Chapel choir sang the Litany of the Saints in preparation for the baptisms.
As in previous years, the pope told parents not to worry if their babies made loud noises during the ceremony.
“The children are symphonic. … Let them cry … and breastfeed them freely. What is important is that today is a celebration.”
The pope concelebrated the Mass with the papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski and Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
Source, photo: Catholic News Agency