Pope Francis: If you don’t know the date of your baptism, look it up

Pope Francis prays the Angelus on Jan. 7, 2024, and offers pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square a reflection on baptism. / Vatican Media

Vatican City, Jan 7, 2024 / 10:04 am (CNA).

Pope Francis said Sunday that if you do not know the date of your baptism, you need to look it up so that you can celebrate the anniversary of becoming a child of God and heir to the kingdom of heaven.

Speaking from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the pope said on Jan. 7 that the anniversary of one’s baptism should be celebrated each year “like a birthday.”

“At baptism, it is God who comes into us, purifies and heals our heart, makes us forever His children, His people and family, heirs to Paradise,” Pope Francis said.

“Let us ask ourselves: am I aware of the immense gift I carry within me through baptism?” he added.

The pope spoke on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which commemorates Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist.

Pilgrims gather to see Pope Francis deliver the Angelus address at St. Peter’s Square on Jan. 7, 2024. Vatican Media

Earlier in the day, Pope Francis baptized 16 babies in the Sistine Chapel, where he said that baptism is “the most beautiful gift” that parents can give to their children.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes baptism as the “basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit … and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.”

In his Angelus address, Pope Francis said that each sign of the cross is a reminder of one’s baptism that “traces in us the memory of the grace of God, who loves us and desires to be with us.”

Pope Francis urged people to reflect and ask themselves: “Do I acknowledge, in my life, the light of the presence of God, who sees me as His beloved son, His beloved daughter?”

Pilgrims gather in St. Peter’s Square to see Pope Francis deliver his Angelus reflection . Vatican Media

He also encouraged Catholics to thank God for their parents who brought them to the baptismal font and gave them the gift of the sacrament. 

“It is important to remember the day of our baptism, and also to know the date. I ask all of you, each one of you to think: ‘Do I remember the date of my baptism?’” he said.

“If you do not remember, when you go back home, ask what it is, so as not to forget it anymore because it is a new birthday, because with your baptism you were born into the life of grace.”

After praying the Marian prayer with the crowd huddled together under umbrellas in St. Peter’s Square below, the pope urged people to continue praying for peace in Ukraine, Palestine, and Israel.

Pope Francis also asked for prayers for “the unconditional liberation” of all people who have been kidnapped in Colombia and expressed his closeness to the people affected by the recent flooding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The pope wished a merry Christmas to the Eastern Orthodox Christians who are still following the Julian calendar and are celebrating Christmas this year on Jan. 7.

“With a spirit of joyful fraternity, I wish that the birth of the Lord Jesus fills them with light, charity, and peace,” he said.

Relaterte artikler

Tidebønner på St Rita Radio

Søndagsfrø med p. Rafal Ochojski MSF