VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has baptized 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel, joking when their cries became a crescendo that "the concert has begun."
He kept his remarks short, noting the babies could be upset by a new place or perhaps were awakened early for the ceremony Sunday morning in the chapel decorated by Michelangelo and where popes are elected in closed-door conclaves. Francis says perhaps Jesus' first "homily" was his baby cries.
Parents approached Francis one by one, with mothers holding their babies, dressed in finery. Francis pronounced each child's name as he performed the sacrament formally welcoming them into the Catholic church.
Some babies slept through it all; other fussed. At least one woman nursed her infant.
On Saturday, the pope will baptize eight infants born in quake-devastated central Italy.