World

Pope baptizes 33 infants in Sistine Chapel, again inviting mothers to nurse crying babes

  • A seagull flies as Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Sunday baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger. For the first time in his pontificate, Francis celebrated Mass with his back to the faithful, according to the rites before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    A seagull flies as Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Sunday baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger. For the first time in his pontificate, Francis celebrated Mass with his back to the faithful, according to the rites before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Sunday baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger. For the first time in his pontificate, Francis celebrated Mass with his back to the faithful, according to the rites before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Pope Francis on Sunday baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger. For the first time in his pontificate, Francis celebrated Mass with his back to the faithful, according to the rites before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger.

Francis pronounced each baby's name and poured water from a golden shell-shaped cup on to their foreheads during the ceremony Sunday, welcoming them into the faith.

The event marked the end of the Christmas season. The 13 infant boys and 20 infant girls, including a set of twins, were all the children of Vatican employees.

During his homily, Francis repeated an invitation extended to mothers on the same occasion last year to feed their children, "also now, if they are crying for hunger, nurse them."

The annual ceremony is held the first Sunday after the Jan. 6 Epiphany.