On the festivity of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel. During the celebration, he baptised 32 babies: 18 girls and 14 boys. One of the children, Giulia, was the daughter of a couple married by civil rites only, who asked the Pope during an audience if he would baptise their child.
“These children are a link in a chain,” said Francis. “You, as parents, have a son or a daughter to baptise, but a some years from now they too will have a child to baptise, then a grandchild… And this is the chain of faith! What does this mean? I want to say only this: you are those who will transmit the faith, you are the transmitters. You have the duty of transmitting faith to these children. It is the most beautiful inheritance you can offer them: faith! Only this. Today, take this thought home with you. We must be transmitters of faith. Think of these, think always about how you can transmit faith to your children.”
During his homily Pope Francis joked about the noise and the crying of the babies. “Today the choir is singing, but the most beautiful choir is that of children, who make noise… Some will cry, perhaps because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry: if they are hungry, mothers, go ahead and feed them, because they are the center of today’s celebration.”
“Francis said in December that women should feel comfortable about breast feeding during his ceremonies,” reported The Telegraph, “a trend which could alarm conservatives in the Vatican. Breast feeding in public is rare in Italy and almost unheard of during Catholic church services.”