Pope concludes catechesis series on baptism by focusing on the rites of the sacrament

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Pope Francis concluded his series on baptism by focusing on the rites that make up the sacrament and what they all signify.

He spoke of the white outfit as a sign of new life. The light of the paschal candle, which represents the light of Christ and warmth of his love. Finally, the recitation of the Our Father at the end, which displays each persons' dignity as God’s adoptive children. 

The pope concluded by asking everyone to cherish the grace they received on their baptism day, and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide them. 


Dear brothers and sisters: 

In this, our final catechesis on Baptism, we turn to the rites illustrating the grace of the sacrament. Following an ancient tradition, the newly baptized are robed in a white garment signifying their new life in Christ, and are admonished to preserve it unstained for eternal life. Since, as Saint Paul says, the baptized have been clothed in Christ (cf. Gal 3:27), they are called to cultivate every virtue, especially charity, which binds the others together (cf. Col 3:14). So too, the taper lighted from the paschal candle symbolizes the light of Christ and the warmth of his love, which, with the help of the parents and godparents, must be nurtured through education in the Christian life. 

These rites evoke not only our communion in the Church on earth, but also point to its fulfilment in the heavenly Jerusalem, where God will be our light for ever (cf. Rev 22:5). The rite of Baptism concludes with the Our Father, as the expression of our dignity as God’s adoptive children in Christ. May all of us cherish the gift of grace we received on the day of our Baptism, and let ourselves be guided at every step by the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, Mauritius, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!

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