The sign of peace that concludes the rite of the sacrament
signifies and demonstrates ecclesial communion with the bishop
and with all the faithful.
It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the
sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy
Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deep-
ening of baptismal grace:
— it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry,
— it unites us more firmly to Christ;
— it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
— it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
— it gives us a special strength of theHoly Spirit to spread and defend
the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the
name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:
Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the
spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judg-
ment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence,
the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you
have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign;
Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his
pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.
Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given
only once, for it too imprints on the soul an
indelible spiritual mark,
the “character,” which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a
Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power
from on high so that he may be his witness.
This “character” perfects the common priesthood of the
faithful, received in Baptism, and “the confirmed person receives
the power to profess faith in Christ publicly and as it were officially
quasi ex officio
116 Cf. St. Hippolytus,
21: SCh 11, 80-95.
119 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1319;
120 St. Ambrose, De myst. 7, 42: PL 16, 402-403.
121 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1609;
122 St. Thomas Aquinas,
III, 72, 5,