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Pope Francis greets pilgrims gathered for the General Audience Pope Francis greets pilgrims gathered for the General Audience  (Vatican Media)

Pope reflects on Baptism at General Audience: English summary

Pope Francis continues his catechesis on Baptism at the Wednesday General Audience, saying that the anointing with the oil of catechumens provides the strength needed for our ongoing spiritual struggle. This is the official English-language summary of the Pope’s catechesis

Dear brothers and sisters: In our catechesis on the sacrament of Baptism, we have seen that it is the door by which we enter, through faith, into the mystery of Christ’s passover from death to life.  Guided by the light of God’s word, and accompanied by the prayers of the saints in heaven and our brothers and sisters here on earth, we begin a journey of growth in faith and in Church’s sacramental life.  The Christian life remains a constant struggle, with the help of God’s grace, to renounce sin and to grow in union with the Lord.  As a sign of the strength needed for this spiritual struggle, those to be baptized are first anointed with the oil of catechumens.  This anointing, and the prayers of exorcism that accompany the rite, invoke the gift of the Holy Spirit, who defends us from the snares of the devil and strengthens us to persevere in our freedom as God’s adopted sons and daughters in Christ.  Just as ancient athletes anointed themselves with oil to prepare for their contests, so we are prepared to live fully the new life of grace, trusting in the Lord’s triumph over sin and death, sustained by the prayers of the whole Church, and awaiting the fulfilment of our hope in heaven.

25 April 2018, 10:00