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Read Francis’ endearing homily to new parents at their children’s baptism


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Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/08/18

And as on numerous occasions before, pope encourages the moms to nurse their babies without fear

As is traditional on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass in the Sistine Chapel with the baptism of children of Vatican employees. This year, he baptized 18 girls and 16 boys in turn, personally administering the Sacrament.

He left aside his prepared script and chose instead to give a brief, off-the-cuff homily in Italian. Though his words are sweet, they are also demanding, reminding the parents that in order to pass on the faith to their children, they need to speak to them in the “language of love.”

Check it out:

You have brought your children to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. This is the first step in the task you have to fulfil: the task of transmitting the Faith. But we need the Holy Spirit to transmit the Faith; we cannot do it alone. Transmitting the Faith is a grace that comes from the Holy Spirit, and this is why you bring your children here to receive the Holy Spirit, to receive the Trinity—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—who will dwell in their hearts.

There is just one thing I want to tell you, something that regards you: the transmission of the Faith can only be done in “dialect,” in the “language” of the family, the “dialect” or “language” used by the father and mother, the grandfather and grandmother. Catechists will come later and develop this first transmission of the Faith, with ideas and explanations.

But do not forget this: if the “dialect” is missing, if at home you do not speak the language of love between parents, the transmission of the Faith is not so easy; it cannot be done. Do not forget this. Your task is to transmit the Faith, but you must do it with the language of love of your home, the language of family.

Children too have their own dialect, and it is good for us to hear it! Now they are all quiet, but if just one sets the tone, then the orchestra will follow! The language of children! And Jesus asks us to be like them, to speak like them. We must not forget this language of children. They speak as best they can, but it’s a language that is very pleasing to Jesus. In your prayers, be simple like they are: tell Jesus what is in your heart, like they do. Today they say it with tears, yes, as children do. The language of parents must be the love with which they transmit the Faith, and the language of children must be welcomed by their parents, so they can grow in Faith.

Now we will continue with the ceremony and if the children start the concert (by crying), it is because they are uncomfortable, or because they are too hot, or feel hungry. If they are hungry, nurse them. Don’t be afraid. Go ahead and nurse them. This too is the language of love.

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