This was probably the most crowded Audience of the year. Despite the uncertain weather, St. Peter's Square was overflowing with joy.
In addition to greeting families and children, Pope Francis got out of the popemobile to hear this sensational orchestra.
During the Audience, the Holy Father returned to the topic of Baptism. He explained the rite's gestures and words to understand the sacrament that awakens the “vocation to live as Christians” in each person.
One of the fundamental parts is the request for the name of he or she who is to be baptized.
“The name indicates the identity of a person. God calls us by name, He loves us personally. But it doesn't end there: over the course of years, God continues to call us by name, so that each day we show a greater resemblance to His son Jesus.”
The sign of the Cross is made for the first time over the infant or adult who will be baptized. The pope said the gesture identifies the person as a Christian and cannot be done automatically.
“Many times, I've seen children who make the sign of the Cross like this. Show children how to correctly make the sign of the Cross. From a young age. If they learn as children, they will do it correctly when they're older.”
Upon finishing the encounter, he sent a message in support of the upcoming spring meeting of the World Bank that is due to take place in Washington. The Holy Father expressed his hope that the encounters will promote the economy of the most disadvantaged and promote their integral development.