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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery



The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the

candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while

pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity:

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality

that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal

sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an

adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a

temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person

baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of

Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.


Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual

sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized

person for Christian worship. Because of the character

Baptism cannot be repeated (cf. DS 1609 and DS 1624).


Those who die for the faith, those who are catechu-

mens, and all those who, without knowing of the

Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek

God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved

even if they have not been baptized (cf.




Since the earliest times, Baptism has been adminis-

tered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that

does not presuppose any human merit; children are

baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Chris-

tian life gives access to true freedom.


With respect to children who have died without Bap-

tism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in

God’s mercy and to pray for their salvation.


In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that

he have the intention of doing that which the Church

does and provided that he pours water on the candi-

date’s head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of

the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”






Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation

together constitute the “sacraments of Christian initiation,” whose

unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that

the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the