At Baptism, Parents Give Their Children the Gift of Faith
On December 15, 2014, Pope Francis visited the parish of St. Joseph all’Aurelio, a parish in Rome named after St. Joseph Marello, founder of the Oblates of St. Joseph.
During the visit, the Holy Father addressed the newly baptized, remarking: “A child always says a word of hope with his being; a child always goes forward, he leads us to the future … He is a seed of the future.” He notes that parents cannot help but look at their children and wonder about their future, praying that God protect them. With Baptism, the Pope said to the parents, “you gave the faith, you transmitted the faith through the Sacrament, but after many years, they will do the same with their children, and thus the faith – from the time of Jesus to today – is like a chain that is transmitted by parents.” He urged all the people there to remember and celebrate the day they were baptized: “a feast day, that is, it is the day that we encountered Jesus for the first time.”
Pope Francis told the parishioners that he was baptized on Christmas Day, eight days after he was born. He finished his message saying, “I pray for you. May you have joy, joy with these children, joy in the home, joy in hope, so much joy. And I give you my blessing.” Finally, after he had blessed the people, he asked for prayers and then urged people to always welcome children—even crying ones—at Church. “The cry of a child is God’s voice. Truly, never, never chase them out of the church!”