Pope Francis’ message to mothers

Pope Francis baptised 34 infants last Sunday during a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel.

With Michelangelo's famed murals on the ceiling overhead, the parents bought 18 girls and 16 boys forward to the pope in the annual ceremony held to commemorate the Baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist.

During the ceremony, Pope Francis encouraged woman attending to breastfeed their young children during the two-hour-long service. In a brief and unscripted homily, he said: “If they start performing a concert (by crying), or if they are uncomfortable or too warm or don’t feel at ease or are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t be afraid, feed them.”

Francis continued his homily by telling parents that have the responsibility of passing on their Catholic faith to their children. “The transmission of faith happens only through dialect, in the dialect of the family, in the dialect of papa and momma, grandpa and grandma."

Pope Francis said if the dialect is lacking, and the parents don’t speak “the language of love” between the two of them, this transmission of faith won’t be so easy.

The Pope has made similar comments around breastfeeding in past ceremonies including 2014 where he said: “If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice, because they are the most important people here.”

Vatican News reports that the Pope ‘appeared to enjoy every minute’ of the baptism ceremony.

The papal baptism is an annual event reserved to children of employees of the Vatican or the Diocese of Rome. Pope Francis is also bishop of the Italian capital.

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