Pope will not baptize infants on feast day this year

January 5, 2021 at 6:16 p.m.
Pope will not baptize infants on feast day this year
Pope will not baptize infants on feast day this year

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – The choral cries of newborn babies will not fill the Sistine Chapel in 2021 because the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Pope Francis to cancel his annual celebration of infant baptisms on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The Vatican press office announced Jan. 5 that the Pope would not do the baptisms Jan. 10, but that the babies – most of whom are the children of Vatican employees – would be baptized in their home parishes instead.

Presiding over the annual event with as many as three dozen infants and their little siblings present, Pope Francis usually kept his homily very short. He almost always reassured the parents that it was normal for the little ones to fuss and said they should not hesitate to feed or change the babies to make them more comfortable.

"It is a beautiful homily when a baby cries in Church. It is a beautiful homily," the Pope said at the 2020 ceremony where he baptized 32 little ones. "Make sure that they are all right and let's move forward."

St. John Paul II made the feast-day baptisms an annual event beginning in 1981 when he baptized nine babies in the Pauline Chapel, a smaller, more private chapel in the Apostolic Palace. In 1983, with 20 infants waiting for the sacrament, the liturgy was transferred to the Sistine Chapel.

When major restoration work was underway on Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the feast-day Mass and baptisms were celebrated mainly in the Hall of Blessings above the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica. The celebration returned to the Sistine Chapel in January 1995.


Related Stories

VATICAN CITY – The choral cries of newborn babies will not fill the Sistine Chapel in 2021 because the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Pope Francis to cancel his annual celebration of infant baptisms on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The Vatican press office announced Jan. 5 that the Pope would not do the baptisms Jan. 10, but that the babies – most of whom are the children of Vatican employees – would be baptized in their home parishes instead.

Presiding over the annual event with as many as three dozen infants and their little siblings present, Pope Francis usually kept his homily very short. He almost always reassured the parents that it was normal for the little ones to fuss and said they should not hesitate to feed or change the babies to make them more comfortable.

"It is a beautiful homily when a baby cries in Church. It is a beautiful homily," the Pope said at the 2020 ceremony where he baptized 32 little ones. "Make sure that they are all right and let's move forward."

St. John Paul II made the feast-day baptisms an annual event beginning in 1981 when he baptized nine babies in the Pauline Chapel, a smaller, more private chapel in the Apostolic Palace. In 1983, with 20 infants waiting for the sacrament, the liturgy was transferred to the Sistine Chapel.

When major restoration work was underway on Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the feast-day Mass and baptisms were celebrated mainly in the Hall of Blessings above the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica. The celebration returned to the Sistine Chapel in January 1995.

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Donovan Catholic graduates noted for resilience, perseverance
Donovan Catholic Principal Jillian Kelly said the Class of 2024

In Local News as of June 17, 2024
The following parishes, schools and organizations in the Diocese of Trenton have announced these upcoming events:

US Catholics urged to promote 'essential right' of religious freedom through prayer, action
"Called to the Fullness of Dignity" is the theme of ...

Embracing the spiritual work of spending time wisely
This month I will be 72 years young, ...

New archaeological discovery in Israel dubbed 'greeting from Christian pilgrims' 1,500 years ago
The discovery of a Byzantine-period church in the northern Negev...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.