At the conclusion of the Mass with baptism that he presided over in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis moved to the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus Photo: Vatican Media

«Do you remember the date of your baptism?» Pope’s question to all Catholics

Allocution on the occasion of the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, January 7, 2024, liturgical feast of the Baptism of Jesus

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 01.07.2024).- At the conclusion of the Mass with baptism that he presided over in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis moved to the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with around 14,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope appeared at the window of the pontifical apartment at noon and delivered the following address, the theme of which revolved around the feast being celebrated that day: the baptism of Jesus.




Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord (cf. Mk 1.7-11). It occurs at the river Jordan, where John – for this reason known as the “Baptist” – performs a rite of purification, which expresses the commitment to renounce sin and to convert. The people go to be baptized humbly, sincerely, and as the Liturgy says, “barefoot and bare of soul”, and Jesus goes there too, inaugurating His ministry: He thus shows that He wants to be close to the sinners, to come for them, for us, for all of sinners!

And some extraordinary things happen on that very day. John the Baptist says something unusual, publicly acknowledging Jesus, seemingly equal to everyone else, as one who is “mightier” (v. 7) than him, who “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (v. 8). Then the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove (f. v. 10) and the voice of the Father proclaims from on high, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased” (v. 11).

All this, while on the one hand it reveals to us that Jesus is the Son of God, on the other it speaks to us of our Baptism, which has made us in turn children of God, because Baptism makes us children of God.



Baptism: it is God who comes into us, purifies, heals our heart, makes us forever His children, His people, His family, heirs to Paradise (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1279). And God becomes intimate to us and He does not leave us anymore. This is why it is important to remember the day of our Baptism, and also to know the date. I ask all of you: you, each one of you, think: “Do I remember the date of my Baptism?”. If you do not remember, when you go back home, ask what it is, so as not to forget it any more, because it is a new birthday, because with your Baptism you were born into the life of grace. Let us thank the Lord for Baptism. Let us also thank Him for the parents who brought us to the font, for those who administered the Sacrament, for the godfather, for the godmother, for the community in which we received Him. Celebrate your own Baptism. It is a new birthday.



And we can ask ourselves: am I aware of the immense gift I carry within me through Baptism? Do I acknowledge, in my life, the light of the presence of God, who sees me as His beloved son, His beloved daughter? And now, in memory of our Baptism, let us welcome God’s presence within us. We can do so with the sign of the cross, which traces in us the memory of the grace of God, who loves us and wishes to stay with us. That sign of the cross reminds us of this. Let us do it together: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

And do not forget the date of your Baptism, which is a birthday.

May Mary, temple of the Spirit, help us to celebrate and welcome the wonders that the Lord works in us.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation