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Pope's general audience of Jan. 15



January 15, 2014 - Pope Francis held his weekly general audience on Wednesday, where he continued his catechesis on the Sacrament of Baptism. The public meeting is an opportunity for pilgrims and tourists visiting Rome to be able to see and hear the Pope and also receive his blessing. The general audience of Jan. 15 was held in the open, in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square. It began with aides reading a passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew, in several languages.
Listen: RealAudioMP3

Basing himself on the scripture passage, Pope Francis delivered his main discourse in Italian - summaries of which were read out by aides in various languages, including in English. But first, the aide greeted the Pope on behalf of the English-speaking pilgrims.
Listen: RealAudioMP3

… Dear Brothers and Sisters: today we continue our catechesis on the sacrament of baptism by reflecting on how, through baptism, we become members of Christ’s mystical body, the Church. In every generation, through baptism, we are reborn to the new life of grace and called to be witnesses of the Gospel before the world. Baptism makes us “missionary disciples” within the communion of the Church. There is a close bond, then, between our rebirth in water and the Holy Spirit, our responsibility to live this new life within the Church, in our families and our parishes, and our mission to bring the Gospel to others as channels of God’s grace. We can look to the remarkable history of the Church in Japan, where small communities of the faithful survived clandestinely for over two centuries thanks to the grace of baptism. May this example help us to appreciate more fully the profound mystical, communitarian and missionary dimensions of our baptism.

Pope Francis then greeted the English-speaking pilgrims in Italian.
Listen: RealAudioMP3

… I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience. Upon you and your families I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace! (BLESSING)




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