Thursday 20 September 2018

Pope gives blessing to 34 babies in Sistine splendour

Pope Francis baptises an infant during a solemn mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis baptises an infant during a solemn mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Frances D'Emilio

Pope Francis has baptised 34 cooing and crying babies in the splendour of the Sistine Chapel, and encouraged their parents to make sure the "language of love" is spoken at home.

With Michelangelo's famed frescoes on the ceiling overhead, the parents - some with other young children in tow - brought 18 girls and 16 boys forward to Francis in the annual ceremony.

Francis told the parents they are tasked with passing on their Catholic faith to their children.

"The transmission of faith happens only through dialect, in the dialect of the family, in the dialect of papa and momma, grandpa and grandma," Francis said. "If the dialect is lacking, if in the home the parents don't speak that language of love between the two of them, this transmission won't be so easy, it can't be done."

The Pope also advised mothers to breastfeed their babies if they cried during the ceremony, saying "this, too, is a language of love".

Irish Independent

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