Vatican City, 09 January, 2022 / 1:00 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis baptized babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday for the first time since the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pope baptized 16 babies — seven boys and nine girls — on Jan. 9, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a year after he was forced to cancel the annual event due to COVID-19.
In a brief, off-the-cuff homily beneath Michelangelo’s depiction of the Last Judgment, the pope said that in baptism children received their Christian identity.
“And you, parents and godparents, must guard this identity,” he said. “This is your task throughout your lives: to guard the Christian identity of your children. It is a daily commitment: to make them grow with the light that they will receive today.”
On Jan. 12, 2020, Pope Francis baptized 32 infants — 17 boys and 15 girls. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11 that year.