Pope Francis baptised 27 babies during Mass in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, reminding their parents that the first space in which children learn and witness the faith is at home. Source: CNA.
“Yes, when they go to catechism class, they will study the faith well, they will learn catechesis,” he said. “But before being studied, faith must be transmitted, and this is a job that is up to you.”
Preparing to baptise the babies – 15 girls and 12 boys – Francis urged their parents “to transmit the faith by example, by words, by teaching [them] to make the sign of the Cross. This is important.”
“The important thing is to transmit the faith with your life of faith: that they see the love of the spouses, that they see the peace of the house, that they see that Jesus is there,” he said.
Francis gave the brief, impromptu homily during Mass for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, when there is a tradition of baptising a group of babies in the Sistine Chapel, a custom started by St John Paul II.
In his homily, the Pope said that it is the parents’ task to pass the faith along to their children, beginning at home, “because faith must always be transmitted ‘in dialect': the dialect of the family, the dialect of the house, in the atmosphere of the home.”
Asking if he could give a little advice, he went on to urge the couples not to fight in front of their children. He noted that it was perfectly normal for a husband and wife to quarrel but recommended trying to keep arguments out of the view and hearing of their kids.
“This, I dare, is a piece of advice that will help you pass on the faith,” he said.
The Pope also commented on the “chorus of tears,” that could be heard coming from the over two dozen babies in the chapel and said mothers should not be ashamed to breastfeed if their child is hungry.
“And so, we go forward in this ceremony, in peace, with the awareness that the transmission of the faith is your responsibility,” he said.