More than 500 Catechumens from roughly 47 countries came to the Vatican, where Pope Francis presided over the Rite of Acceptance. As part of the tradition, the Pope personally greeted about 35 of them at the entrance of St. Peter's Basilica. As the group gets ready to join the Catholic Church, the Pope talked about the Sacrament of Baptism, adding that God created people precisely for an encounter.
"God did not create us to be alone, or closed off in ourselves. He created us so we could encounter Him, and through Him, He lead us towards others. God first comes to us. This is incredible! He comes to us!”
The Pope also highlighted that God is always loyal and patient, despite the fact that He is constantly faced with rejection and betrayal.
"God comes out and searches. He often seeks us out precisely when we're going through the bitter and tragic experience of betraying Him and fleeing from Him. God doesn't wait. He begins His search immediately. He searches right away. Our Father is patient.”
Towards the end, the Pope asked the Catechumens to live their faith with joy and to never forget the example of Jesus. As he concluded the ceremony, he gave them a Gospel.