completion of baptismal grace.
For “by the sacrament of Confir-
mation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and
are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they
are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and
defend the faith by word and deed.”
In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the
Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his
The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his
baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come,
the Messiah, the Son of God.
He was conceived of the Holy Spirit;
his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total com-
munion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him “without
This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the
Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to
the whole messianic
On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of
a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and
then more strikingly at Pentecost.
Filled with the Holy Spirit the
apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter
declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic
Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were
baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn.
“From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s
will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the
gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason
Letter to the Hebrews
the doctrine concerning Baptism and the
laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian
instruction. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the
Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation,
which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the
Rite of Confirmation (
), Introduction 1.
3:5-8; 7:37-39; 16:7-15;
2:11; cf. 2:17-18.
99 Paul VI,
Divinae consortium naturae,