Celebrate the anniversary of your baptism like a birthday, says Pope Francis. Speaking recently to a large number of Christians the Pope encouraged them to hold dear to the importance of baptism in their lives. He said:
“Baptism illuminates our entire life, guiding our steps until (we reach) the heavenly Jerusalem.”
“No one deserves baptism, which is always a gift for everyone, adults and newborns. But like what happens to a seed full of life, this gift takes root and brings forth fruit in a land nourished by faith,” the pope said.
As the first of the seven sacraments, Pope Francis said, “Baptism is the door that permits Christ the Lord to make his dwelling in us and allows us to immerse ourselves in his mystery.”
So – do you know when you were baptised? If you don’t – find out! Do you celebrate it?
Marking the anniversary of baptism in a special way reminds us of the importance of our Christian faith and celebrates our own personal commitment to it. It is a day to give thanks for God’s gift of faith to us, and to give thanks for baptism, the foundation of our Christian life. Celebrate the day like a birthday. It is a day to remind ourselves that we are loved and cherished by God.
Here are some suggestions:
Firstly note the date in your diary or calendar, so you don’t forget. Find out where you were baptised and see if you can find out about the day and what happened and think about your christian journey since that day.
Then choose something special to eat for the day – perhaps a cake you like, or a special meal.
Light a candle, and say a prayer, at home or at church, giving thanks for your Christian faith.
Give a gift to church or a charity as a thank you to God for your baptism.
When you come to church near the anniversary or on it, if you can use holy water to make the sign of the cross, as a reminder of your baptism.
Fr Ian reflects on his baptismal anniversary in an earlier blog post here.