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Pope Francis baptizes 10th child of Ukrainian couple at Casa Santa Marta

Pope Francis Newborn baby head baptism

Photo by Handout / VATICAN MEDIA / AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 11/11/23

"God is making such a wonderful story with us," shares couple after their child is welcomed into the Church by the pontiff.

November 6 proved to be a very special day for three-month-old Zakhariy and his parents, Vitaly and Vita. The Ukrainian family were at the chapel of Casa Santa Marta, where Pope Francis baptized the little boy, who is the youngest of 10 children, during the liturgy.

Coming from Kamianets-Podilskyi, in western Ukraine, the family have had to contend with many difficulties in recent years, including the impact of the war in their homeland. But as members of the Neocatechumenal Way, the couple have felt God’s Providence during the recent challenges, with Vita sharing:

We endure everything thanks to God, because God always takes care of our family. There is war in the country, and it is very difficult. Everyone is praying for this war to end soon, for all the prisoners to return home and for there to be no more killing.”

The mom of seven boys and three girls went on to share just how wonderful an occasion it was to see their little boy baptized by the Holy Father himself, as reported in Vatican News:

The Baptism was a great gift for our family. I could never have even dreamed that we could be with the Holy Father and that he could baptize our son. But God is making such a wonderful story with us, which we still do not fully understand.”

The couple was accompanied by their Latin-rite bishop from back home, Bishop Leon Dubrawski, who was present for the liturgy.

Hope for the future

The prelate expressed how “God’s love is transmitted from generation to generation through the family,” and with baby Zakhariy’s own large family, his extended Catholic family, that’s a substantial amount of love to pass along!

There is no doubt that this special moment for the Ukrainian family can only strengthen their faith, as well as their hope that peace will soon prevail.

BaptismPope FrancisUkraine
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