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Pope says we should have a 2nd birthday cake every year


Antoine Mekary | Aleteia

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/27/24

And he proposes a young saint to youth from an Italian diocese readying to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
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Pope Francis urged young people preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation to follow Blessed Carlo Acutis in three characteristics of his life.

The Pope on Saturday welcomed young Italian confirmands along with their parents, family members, catechists, and Archbishop Giuseppe Satriano of Bari-Bitonto, Italy.

He began by asking the young crowd to raise their hands if they knew the date of their baptism. For those who couldn’t, he urged them to find out “and never forget it; it is like a birthday, something very beautiful. Because the date of Baptism must be celebrated, every year, like a second birthday! Have a cake made with candles too! An extra cake … not bad!”

Pope Francis during his weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican
Pope Francis is gifted a birthday cake at the general audience prior to his 87th birthday

While the Holy Father spoke light-heartedly, he said his encouragement wasn’t a joke because “the date of our Baptism is truly a very important date!”

Indeed, that day we were born to Christian life, to life in Jesus, which lasts forever, which is an eternal life, forever! Then we entered the great family of the Church, and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us and will never abandon us; and finally, we have received the greatest inheritance there is: Paradise!

All this is confirmed

The Pope then explained that with the sacrament the youth are about to receive “all this is confirmed, that is, made more solid, stronger.”

By whom? First of all, by the Holy Spirit, who renews us with His gifts; then by the Church, which entrusts us with the task of proclaiming Jesus and His Gospel; and finally, by ourselves, who accept this mission as a personal commitment, as protagonists and not as spectators.

Blessed Carlo

To help them in this endeavor, the Pope suggested the example of a fellow young Italian, Blessed Carlo Acutis.

The Pope said that in Carlo’s short life “he did a great deal of good things in just a few years. Above all, he was impassioned by Jesus; and since he was very good at getting around on the internet, he used it in the service of the Gospel, spreading love for prayer, the witness of faith, and charity towards others.”

Prayer, witness, and charity, Pope Francis emphasized, inviting the youth to repeat the words.

Carlo Acutis lived out these things with great commitment: he spent a lot of time with Jesus, especially in Mass, which he attended every day, and he prayed before the Tabernacle, so as then to announce to everyone, with words and gestures of love, that God loves us and is always waiting for us. Listen to this: “God loves us and is always waiting for us.” Do you understand? Let us say it together: “God loves us and is always waiting for us.”

The Pope invited the youth to do what Blessed Carlo did: “Go to Jesus, meet Him, and then tell everyone how good it is to be with Jesus, because He loves us and is always waiting for us!”

Be witnesses of how beautiful it is to be with Jesus and how much He loves us. I bless you all from my heart. And please, pray for me. And what was the message? [They repeat]. “Jesus loves us and is always waiting for us.” Bravo!

Carlo AcutisConfirmationPope Francis
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