"Thank you," he repeated to the mom, "for your witness."
Pope Francis has often said that a baby crying in church is a sound to rejoice in, and today before beginning his catechesis at the general audience, he said it again.
The pope began his address by explaining how the Coronavirus forces him to stay at a distance from the pilgrims.
But then he added that while the biblical passage was being read, “my attention was caught by that baby boy or girl over there who was crying, and I was watching the mama who was cuddling and nursing the baby and I said: this is what God does with us, like that mama. With what tenderness she was trying to comfort and nurse the baby. They are beautiful images.”
The Holy Father thanked the woman for her “witness,” saying that “the tenderness of a mama is a symbol of God’s tenderness with us.”
He said that the voice of a baby crying in church is “a voice that attracts God’s tenderness.”
“Thank you,” he repeated to the mom, “for your witness.”
The pope has on various occasions spoken about how a parent’s example of love is an image of God’s love and tenderness for us.
During the extended battle over the life of a terminally ill child, Alfie Evans, in the UK, the pope reflected that the effort that Alfie’s dad made to save his son was an image of God the Father.
Vatican News reported at the time:
The Holy Father listened with interest to what Alfie’s father was saying and at one point he said: “I admire you for the courage you have, you are so young but you have the courage to defend your son’s life.” And at a certain point he even said that the courage of this father is similar to the love that God has for man in that He does not resign Himself to losing us. And I think that was the most moving moment.
Pope Francis generally mentions that it’s joyous to hear a baby’s sounds in church when he baptizes children at a traditional ceremony in the Sistine Chapel on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus.
Pope Francis’ message on breastfeeding in the Sistine Chapel