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'If Your Baby Is Hungry, Feel Free to Nurse,' Pope Suggests to Mothers in Sistine Chapel

On Feast of Jesus’ Baptism, Pope Francis Baptizes 26 Babies; Reminds Parents ‘Greatest Inheritance’ They Can Give Children Is Faith

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‘When a baby cries because he or she is hungry, to the mommies, I say: if your child is hungry, feed them here, with complete freedom.’
Pope Francis gave this advice to the mothers present in the Sistine Chapel this morning, during the Mass he celebrated for the feast of Jesus’ Baptism in the River Jordan by his cousin, John the Baptist. Following tradition, the Pontiff, in the space where he was elected Successor of Peter, baptized babies, specifically 26 newborns, half boys, half girls, this last Sunday of the Christmas season.
In his brief homily, which welcomed some cries in the background, the Pope reflected on how Mary and Joseph took Baby Jesus to the Temple to present Him to God and how the parents present in front of him in the frescoed chapel with their babies were there for the same purpose: passing down the faith.

A Chain in Time

When parents make passing down the faith the priority, Francis noted, it subsequently is transmitted from generation to generation, “like a chain,” in the course of time.
“These baby boys and girls, over the years, will take your place with another child – your grandchildren – and they’ll ask the same thing: the faith. The faith that Baptism gives us. The faith that the Holy Spirit bears in the heart, soul, and in the life of your children,” he said.

Greatest Inheritance

“Finally, do not forget that the greatest inheritance that you can give your children is faith,” the Pope said, stressing, “Be careful that this is not lost,  so it can grow and leave a legacy.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying that in this joyous day, he wishes that the parents present are able to make their children grow and remain in faith, continuing to pass down the ‘greatest inheritance.’
On ZENIT’s Webpage:
Full Translation: //www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-baptism-of-26-babies-in-sistine-chapel

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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