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Monday, January 9, 2012


VATICAN CITY, 8 JAN 2012 (VIS) - This morning, after celebrating Mass in the Sistine Chapel during which he administered the Sacrament of Baptism to a group of infants, the Pope appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord", he said. "I would like to reflect briefly upon our status as children of God, but I would begin first of all by highlighting the simple fact that we are children, a fundamental condition which unities us all. ... Coming into the world is never our choice. ... Yet during our existence we can develop a positive attitude towards life, we can welcome it as a gift. ... This is a sign of maturity in our being, and in our relationship with our parents which is thus filled with recognition".

  "All of us are likewise children of God. God is the origin of the existence of all creatures, He is the Father of each individual human being, with each of whom He has a unique personal relationship. God wants and loves each one of us. ... Thanks to the faith, thanks to a profound and personal 'yes' to God as the origin and foundation of my existence, ... I welcome life as a gift of the Father Who is in heaven; a Parent ... Who, in the depths of my heart, I feel to be my Father, the Father or all my brothers and sisters in humanity, a Father Who is intensely good and faithful".

  "This faith in God the Father rests upon Jesus Christ. His person and His history reveal the Father to us. ... To believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, enables us 'to be reborn from above', in other words from God Who is Love. ... This is the significance of the Sacrament of Baptism: it is a new birth which comes about thanks to the Holy Spirit".

  "This Sunday concludes the period of Christmas. Let us give thanks unto God for this great mystery. ... God became the child of man that man might become the child of God. Let us then renew our joy at being children, ... born of the love of a father and a mother, and reborn in God's love through Baptism".

  Following the Angelus, the Pope addressed greetings to the pilgrims in various languages.
ANG/                                    VIS 20120109 (430)

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