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Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at General Audience in St Peter's Square Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at General Audience in St Peter's Square  (Vatican Media)

Pope reflects on Baptism at General Audience: English summary

Pope Francis concludes his catechesis on Baptism at the Wednesday General Audience reflecting on the significance of the baptismal garment and candle. This is the official English-language summary of the Pope’s catechesis:

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.

16 May 2018, 11:17