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Rome Reports

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Pope during baptisms in Sistine Chapel: Don't fight in front of your children

Each year, on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, one of the most special and different ceremonies is celebrated in the Vatican. The pope baptizes several newborns in the Sistine Chapel. They are the children of Vatican employees.

This year, there were 12 boys and 15 girls. Since Pope Francis is aware that it's a busy day for the little ones, he delivers a brief and simple homily. This year, the pope explained that in catechism class, children study the faith. However, it is the parents who are responsible for transmitting it at home through their example.

"Excuse me, but I give you this advice: Never fight in front of your children. Never. It is normal for spouses to fight; it is normal. The opposite would be strange. Do it, but without them hearing it, so that they do not see it. You do not know the anguish a child experiences when he or she sees his or her parents fight."

The first round of tears were already beginning in the Sistine Chapel, so the pope reassured the parents present.

"I tell you: let them be comfortable. Be careful not to cover them too much and if they cry of hunger, feed them. To the mothers I say: let the children eat. Be calm, the Lord wants it. Because they – why worry? – have a polyphonic vocation. One begins to cry and another responds, and another... and in the end, is this chorus of tears."

After the homily, the highly anticipated moment arrived. Some children were nearly sleeping when the baptismal waters hit their heads, while others showed more character.

As the pope became nervous, minutes later the melodic singing drown out all other noises. In any case, on such a special day, a bit more crying during Mass is more than allowed.