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Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 2014

Pope Francis's Homily at Holy Mass in the Sistine Chapel
and the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism - Sunday, 12 January 2014
- in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Jesus did not need to be baptized, but the first theologians say that, with his body, with his divinity, in baptism he blessed all the waters, so that the waters would have the power to confer baptism. And then, before ascending to Heaven, Jesus told us to go into all the world to baptize. And from that day forward up until today, this has been an uninterrupted chain: they baptized their children, and their children their own, and those children... And also today this chain continues.

These children are a link in a chain. You parents have a baby boy or girl to baptize, but in some years they will have a child to baptize, or a grandchild... Such is the chain of faith! What does this mean? I would like to tell you only this: you are those who transmit the faith, the transmitters; you have a duty to hand on the faith to these children. It is the most beautiful inheritance you will leave to them: the faith! Only this. Today, take this thought home with you. We must be transmitters of the faith. Think about this, always think about how to hand on the faith to your children.

Today the choir sings, but the most beautiful choir is the children making noise... Some of them will cry, because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry: if they are hungry, mothers, feed them with ease, because they are the most important ones here. And now, with this awareness of being transmitters of the faith, let us continue with the rite of Baptism."

Papa Francesco's words at the Angelus
- in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear brothers and sisters, Good morning!
Today is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This morning I baptized 32 newborns. I thank the Lord with you for these babies and for every new life. I like to baptize children. I really enjoy it! Every child who is born is a gift of joy and hope, and every child who is baptized is marvel of the faith and a festival for the family of God.

Today’s Gospel reading highlights the fact that, when Jesus received baptism from John in the Jordan River, “the heavens opened for him” (Matthew 3:16). This fulfills the prophecies. In fact, there is an invocation that the liturgy has us repeat during Advent: “O that you would rend the heavens and come down!” (Isaiah 63:19). If the heavens remain closed, our horizon in this earthly life is dark, without hope. But, celebrating Christmas, the faith has once again given us the certainty that the heavens have been opened by Jesus’coming. And on the day of Christ’s baptism we again contemplate the opened heavens. The manifestation of the Son of God on earth is the beginning of the great time of mercy, after sin had closed the heavens, making a barrier between human beings and their Creator. With Jesus’ birth the heavens are opened! God gives us in Christ the guarantee of an indestructible love. From the moment the Word was made flesh it is possible to see the heavens opened. It is possible for the shepherds of Bethlehem, for the magi from the East, for the Baptist, for the Apostles of Jesus, for St. Stephen, the first martyr, who exclaimed: “I see the heavens opened!” (Acts 7:56). And it is also possible for each one of us, if we let ourselves be invaded by God’s love! This is the great time of mercy! Do not forget it. This is the great time of mercy!

When Jesus received the of baptism repentance from John the Baptist, entering into solidarity with the repentant people – he who is without and without a need to convert – God the Father made his voice heard from heaven: “This is my beloved Son. In him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus received the heavenly Father’s approval, who sent him precisely to share our condition, our poverty. Sharing is the true way to love. Jesus does not disassociate himself from us. He considers us brothers and shares with us. And in this way he makes us sons, together with him, of God the Father. This is revelation and the source of true love. And this is the great time of mercy!

Does it not seem to you that in our time there is a need for more fraternal sharing and of love? Does it not seem to you that we all need more charity? I am not talking about that charity that contents itself with extemporaneous help and does not get involved, does not put itself into play, but that charity that shares, that takes on our brother’s hardships and suffering. What flavor life has when we let ourselves be flooded with God’s love!

Let us ask the Holy Virgin with her intercession to sustain us our effort to follow Christ along the way of faith and charity, the way traced out by our Baptism."

After the Angelus prayers

"Dear brothers and sisters, I offer all of you my cordial greeting, especially the families and the faithful from different parishes in Italy and other countries along with the associations and various groups who are present.

Today I would like to address a special thought to the parents who have had their children baptized and those who are preparing for the Baptism of a child. I join in the joy of these families, I thank the Lord with them, and I pray that the Baptism of their children with help the parents themselves to rediscover the beauty of faith and to return in a new way to the Sacraments and to the community.

As has already been announced, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, I will have the joy of holding a consistory, during which I will name 16 new cardinals, who – belonging to 12 nations from every corner of the world – represent the profound ecclesial relationship between the Church of Rome and the other Church’s dispersed throughout the world.

On the following day I will preside at a solemn celebration with the new cardinals while on February 20-21I will hold a consistory with all of the cardinals to reflect on the theme of the family.

Here are the names of the new cardinals:
1 – Mgr Pietro Parolin, Titular Archbishop of Acquapendente, Secretary of State.
2 – Mgr Lorenzo Baldisseri, Titular Archbishop of Diocleziana, Secretary General of the Synod.
3 - Mgr Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Archbishop-Bishop Emeritus of Regensburg, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
4 – Mgr Beniamino Stella, Titular Archbishop of Midila, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
5 – Mgr Vincent Gerard Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster (Great Britain).
6 – Mgr Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua).
7 – Mgr Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec (Canada).
8 – Mgr Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
9 – Mgr Orani João Tempesta, O.Cist., Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
10 – Mgr Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve (Italy).
11 – Mgr Mario Aurelio Poli, Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina).
12 – Mgr Andrew Yeom Soo jung, Archbishop of Seoul (Korea).
13 – Mgr Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Archbishop of Santiago de Chile (Chile).
14 – Mgr Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).
15 – Mgr Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines).
16 – Mgr Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes (Haiti).

Together with them, I add to the College of Cardinals 3 archbishops emeriti who are distinguished by their service to the Holy See and to the Church:
Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla, Titular Archbishop of Mesembria;
Monsignor Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, Archbishop Emeritus of Pamplona;
Monsignor Kelvin Edward Felix, Archbishop Emeritus of Castries, in the Antilles.

Let us pray for the new cardinals that, clothed in the virtues and sentiments of the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, they can more efficaciously assist the Bishop of Rome in his service to the universal Church.

I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good lunch. Goodbye!"