Parents must never argue in front of the children, Pope Francis said today.
In a homily at Mass on the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord, during which he baptised 27 newborn babies, the Pope urged parents to take care to transmit the faith to their children within the home.
"But the important thing is to transmit the faith with your life of faith," he said. "They see the love of the spouses, who see the peace of the house, who see that Jesus is there. And I would like to give advice –sorry, but I recommend this – never fight in front of children, never.
'It is normal for spouses to quarrel, it is normal. The opposite would be strange. Do it, but that they do not hear, that they do not see. You do not know the anguish a child receives when he sees his parents quarrelling. This, I dare, is a piece of advice that will help you pass on the faith."
Faith should be passed on by example, by words, by teaching to make the sign of the Cross. "This is important."
He also urged mothers to breastfeed their newborns and make them comfortable.
"If they cry for hunger, breast-feed them. To the mothers, I say: breastfeed the children. The Lord wants this."
Later, in the Angelus, he spoke more about baptism. "Baptism is the beginning of the public life of Jesus, of his mission in the world as an envoy of the Father to manifest his goodness and his love for men. This mission is accomplished in constant and perfect union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Even the mission of the Church and that of each one of us, to be faithful and fruitful, is called to 'graft' onto that of Jesus. It is a matter of continuously regenerating evangelisation and apostolate in prayer, to make a clear Christian witness, not according to human projects, but according to God's plan and style."
After the Angelus he invoked prayers for the babies he had just baptised and their families. "And, on this occasion, I renew to everyone the invitation to keep the memory of one's baptism alive and up-to-date. There are the roots of our life in God there; the roots of our eternal life, which Jesus gave us with his Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection. In Baptism there are the roots. And let us never forget the date of our baptism."