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Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St Peter's Square before the weekly General Audience Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St Peter's Square before the weekly General Audience  (Vatican Media)

Pope reflects on Confirmation, General Audience: English summary

Pope Francis continues a catechesis on the Sacrament of Confirmation, focusing on the sacramental signs of the laying on of hands and the anointing with chrism. This is the official English-language summary of the Pope’s catechesis:

Dear brothers and sisters: In our catechesis on the sacrament of Confirmation, we have seen that it is a further spiritual anointing that completes the grace of Baptism and leads to the Eucharist.  The rite of Confirmation recalls and renews the promises made at Baptism and invokes a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  Just as Jesus received the outpouring of the Spirit at his baptism in order to carry out his messianic mission, the Church prays that we too may receive the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that enable us to help the Body of Christ grow in unity and missionary zeal.  The gift of the Spirit is communicated through the laying on of hands and anointing with sacred chrism.  Saint Paul sheds lights on the meaning of these sacramental signs when he says that “God… has anointed us, by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor 1:21-22).  Sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are configured more closely to Christ and strengthened to bear witness to him in our world.  May each of us grow in gratitude for the gift received at our Confirmation and open our hearts ever more fully to the creativity of the Spirit who makes all things new.

30 May 2018, 09:33