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“Learn the date of your baptism,” urges Pope Francis


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Elizabeth Scalia - published on 08/02/17

Knowing the date of one's baptism is clearly important to the Holy Father, who connects it to the rest of our Christian reality
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“Do you know the date of your baptism?” It is not the first time Pope Francis has asked this question of the faithful who have gathered to attend one of his general audiences. Early in his pontificate, as he began a catechesis on the sacraments of the Church, he put forward the importance of knowing the date of one’s baptism:

…I have asked this question two or three times already, here, in this square: who among you knows the date of your Baptism, raise your hands. It is important to know the day on which I was immersed in that current of Jesus’ salvation. And I will allow myself to give you some advice… but, more than advice, a task for today. Today, at home, go look, ask about the date of your Baptism and that way you will keep in mind that most beautiful day of Baptism. To know the date of our Baptism is to know a blessed day. The danger of not knowing is that we can lose awareness of what the Lord has done in us, the memory of the gift we have received. Thus, we end up considering it only as an event that took place in the past – and not by our own will but by that of our parents – and that it has no impact on the present. We must reawaken the memory of our Baptism. We are called to live out our Baptism every day as the present reality of our lives. If we manage to follow Jesus and to remain in the Church, despite our limitations and with our weaknesses and our sins, it is precisely in the Sacrament whereby we have become new creatures and have been clothed in Christ.

Again in 2016, he asked the faithful to learn the date of their baptisms:

He noted that in the event of Jesus’ baptism, the transition is made from John’s baptism with water, to the baptism of Jesus in “Spirit and fire.”

Francis said that the Holy Spirit is really the protagonist in the sacrament, since “he is the one who burns and destroys original sin, returning to baptism the beauty of divine grace.”

“It is he who liberates us from the dominion of darkness, which is sin, and brings us into the realm of light, which is love, truth and peace.”

A cognizance of our baptismal date is clearly very important to Pope Francis, who feels that in recalling our baptism, we will better connect with feelings of gratitude for our salvation, and be inspired toward mission and service, from that “rebirth.”

“Go to your mom, your dad, your aunt, your uncle, your grandmother or grandfather,” the pope urges in this video, “and ask them, ‘What is the date of my baptism?'”

If asking that question is no longer possible, you can always contact the parish in which you were baptized, and ask that question — you can even ask for a copy of your baptismal certificate.

Pope FrancisSacraments
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