16 Babies Baptized by Benedict in Sistine Chapel

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 01:29

16 lucky newborns had a very special baptism on Sunday when Pope Benedict blessed the babies himself after a historic mass in the Sistine Chapel.

The chapel is rarely used for services as it is often opened up to throngs of tourists who flock to the Vatican to gaze at Michelangelo's famous ceiling. The annual Sistine Chapel ceremony, which celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, marks the official end of the Vatican's Christmas celebrations.

Pope Benedict's homily that day focused on the theme of education.

“We can say that this was your first educational choice as witnesses of the faith to your children: the fundamental choice", the pontiff told a group of proud parents and godparents.

He went on to tell them that: “Educating is very demanding; it is sometimes arduous because of our human capacities, which are always limited. But education becomes a wonderful mission if it is done in collaboration with God, who is the first and true educator of every man".

He urged the 16 families to turn to prayer to guide them in educating their newly baptized babies.