In his Sunday Angelus remarks on January 10, 2016 (the feast of the Baptism of the Lord), Pope Francis told the people present that they should know and celebrate the anniversary of their baptisms. Here are 70 reasons to celebrate your baptism!

*CCC stands for The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  1. “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life” (CCC 1213).
  2. “It is the gateway to life in the Spirit” (CCC 1213).
  3. It is “the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (CCC 1213).
  4. “Through Baptism we are freed from sin” (CCC 1213).
  5. We are “reborn as sons of God” (CCC 1213).
  6. “We become members of Christ” (CCC 1213).
  7. We are “incorporated into the Church” (CCC 1213).
  8. We are made sharers in the Church’s mission (CCC 1213).
  9. “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word” (CCC 1213).
  10. “The ‘plunge’ into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as ‘a new creature’” (CCC 1214).
  11. “This sacrament is also called ‘the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,’ for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one ‘can enter the kingdom of God’”(CCC 1215).
  12. “Having received in Baptism the Word, ‘the true light that enlightens every man,’ the person baptized has been ‘enlightened,’ he becomes a ‘son of light,’ indeed, he becomes ‘light’ himself” (CCC 1216).
  13. “Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift” (CCC 1216).
  14. “It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own” (CCC 1216).
  15. It is called “grace since it is given even to the guilty” (CCC 1216).
  16. It is called “Baptism because sin is buried in the water” (CCC 1216).
  17. It is called “anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed” (CCC 1216).
  18. It is called “enlightenment because it radiates light” (CCC 1216).
  19. It is called “clothing since it veils our shame” (CCC 1216).
  20. It is called “bath because it washes” (CCC 1216).
  21. It is called “seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship” (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, as quoted in CCC 1216).
  22. “The waters of Baptism… make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness” (CCC 1219).
  23. “Baptism signifies communion with Christ’s death” (CCC 1220).
  24. “The liberation of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, announces the liberation wrought by Baptism” (CCC 1221).
  25. “Baptism is prefigured in the crossing of the Jordan River by which the People of God received the gift of the land promised to Abraham’s descendants, an image of eternal life. The promise of this blessed inheritance is fulfilled in the New Covenant” (CCC 1222).
  26. “In his Passover Christ opened to all men the fountain of Baptism. Jesus “had already spoken of his Passion, which he was about to suffer in Jerusalem, as a ‘Baptism’ with which he had to be baptized” (CCC 1225).
  27. “The blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Jesus are types of Baptism and the Eucharist, the sacraments of new life. From then on, it is possible ‘to be born of water and the Spirit’ in order to enter the Kingdom of God” (CCC 1225).
  28. “See where you are baptized, see where Baptism comes from, if not from the cross of Christ, from his death. There is the whole mystery: he died for you. In him you are redeemed, in him you are saved” (St. Ambrose, as quoted in CCC 1225).
  29. “From the very day of Pentecost the Church has celebrated and administered holy Baptism” (CCC 1226).
  30. On Pentecost St. Peter declared, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
  31. “Always, Baptism is seen as connected with faith: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household,’ St. Paul declared to his jailer in Philippi. And the narrative continues, the jailer ‘was baptized at once, with all his family’” (CCC 1226).
  32. “According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through Baptism into communion with Christ’s death, is buried with him, and rises with him” (CCC 1227).
  33. “Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies” (CCC 1227).
  34. “Baptism is a bath of water in which the ‘imperishable seed’ of the Word of God produces its life-giving effect” (CCC 1228).
  35. “Baptism is ‘the sacrament of faith’ in a particular way, since it is the sacramental entry into the life of faith” (CCC 1236).
  36. “Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate” (CCC 1237).
  37. Baptism “signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ” (CCC 1239)
  38. “The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one ‘anointed’ by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king (CCC 1241).
  39. “The white garment symbolizes that the person baptized has ‘put on Christ,’ has risen with Christ (CCC 1243).
  40. “The candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the neophyte. In him the baptized are ‘the light of the world.’” (CCC 1243).
  41. “The newly baptized is now, in the only Son, a child of God entitled to say the prayer of the children of God: ‘Our Father.’” (CCC 1243).
  42. Baptism opens the door to reception of the other sacraments especially the Eucharist. “First Holy Communion. Having become a child of God clothed with the wedding garment, the neophyte is admitted ‘to the marriage supper of the Lamb’ and receives the food of the new life, the body and blood of Christ (CCC 1244).
  43. “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called” (CCC 1250).
  44. “The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth” (CCC 1250).
  45. “Baptism is the sacrament of faith” (CCC 1250).
  46. “Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth” (CCC 1254).
  47. “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13).
  48. “Baptism serves the purpose of giving a meaning to man’s life, above and beyond biological life …. a meaning that I know to be stronger than all the darkness of history. That is what baptism is…[it] takes him up into fellowship with Christ” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger –Pope Benedict XVI).
  49. At His Baptism, “Jesus entered into contact with the Father, Heaven opened above him.…Heaven opens above us in the Sacrament. The more we live in contact with Jesus in the reality of our Baptism, the more Heaven will open above us” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  50. “Baptism is adoption and admission into God’s family, into communion with the Most Holy Trinity, into communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For this very reason, Baptism should be administered in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity. These words are not merely a formula; they are reality. They mark the moment when your children are reborn as children of God. From being the children of human parents, they also become the children of God in the Son of the living God” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  51. “Adoption as children of God, of the Trinitarian God, is at the same time being accepted into the family of the Church, it is admission as brothers and sisters into the great family of Christians. And only if, as children of God, we are integrated as brothers and sisters into the reality of the Church can we say “Our Father”, to our Heavenly Father. This prayer always implies the “we” of God’s family” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  52. “In Baptism God himself acts, Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit. In Christian Baptism the fire of the Holy Spirit is present. God acts, not only us. God is present here today. He takes on your children and makes them his own” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  53. “Baptism will remain throughout life a gift of God, who has set his seal on our souls” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  54. “The living and active presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested, enriching the Church with new children, enlivening and making them grow, and we cannot help but rejoice” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  55. The Holy Spirit “is the one who burns and destroys original sin, returning to baptism the beauty of divine grace. It is he who liberates us from the dominion of darkness, which is sin, and brings us into the realm of light, which is love, truth and peace” (Pope Francis).
  56. “In Baptism every Christian personally meets him [Jesus]; he is inserted into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection and receives a new life, which is the life of God” (Pope St. John Paul II).
  57. By Baptism “they will be deeply united with Jesus forever, immersed in the mystery of his power, of his might, namely, in the mystery of his death which is a source of life so as to share in his resurrection, to be reborn to new life” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  58. By Baptism “they are reborn as children of God who share in the filial relationship that Jesus has with the Father, in other words who can address God, calling him with full confidence and trust: ‘Abba, Father’” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  59. By Baptism, “The heavens are also opened above your children and God says: these are my children, children in whom I am well pleased. Inserted into this relationship and liberated from original sin, they become living members of the one body that is the Church and are enabled to live their vocation to holiness in fullness, so as to be able to inherit eternal life, obtained for us by Jesus’ Resurrection” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  60. “The water which will sign these children in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit will immerse them in that ‘fount’ of life which is God himself and will make them his own true sons.
  61. “The seed of the theological virtues, faith, hope and charity, sown by God, …are planted in their hearts … through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Pope Benedict XVI).
  62. “Baptism takes away original sin, all personal sins and all punishment due to sin” Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church 263).
  63. “It makes the baptized person a participant in the divine life of the Trinity through sanctifying grace, the grace of justification which incorporates one into Christ and into his Church” (Compendium 263).
  64. “It gives one a share in the priesthood of Christ and provides the basis for communion with all Christians” (Compendium 263).
  65. “It bestows the theological virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (Compendium 263).’
  66. “A baptized person belongs forever to Christ. He is marked with the indelible seal of Christ (character).” (Compendium 263).
  67. Jesus said, “Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (John 3:5).
  68. Jesus sent His Apostles to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20).
  69. “Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament” (CCC 1257).
  70. “The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are ‘reborn of water and the Spirit’”(CCC 1257).

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