The weekly general audience with Pope Francis was held in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday morning. According to Zenit News Agency, Pope Francis continued his series on the sacraments, focusing on the Sacrament of Confirmation. Pope Francis stated that Confirmation, along with Baptism and the Eucharist form the salvific event of Christian initiation which unites us in the Death and Resurrection of Christ, "We become new creatures and members of the Church. This is why originally these three Sacraments are received at the end of the formation journey during the Easter Vigil," Pope Francis said.
During the lesson Pope Francis explained the origin of the word Confirmation.
"Cresima" is a word which means 'anointing'. The oil used at Confirmation is called 'Sacred Chrism'. He noted that Confirmation brings a growth of the baptismal grace and completes our bond with the Church. He emphasized the need for the Sacrament, saying those not receiving it will always remain 'halfway'.
"Let us think, each one of us, do we truly care that our children and young ones receive Confirmation? This is important! This is important! And if you have children in your home, young ones who have not received it yet and are of age to receive it, do everything possible to bring to fulfillment this Christian initiation and that they may receive the strength of the Holy Spirit. It is important!" the Pope exclaimed.
"Confirmation, like every Sacrament, is not a work of man, but of God, in which He takes care of our lives to mold us in the image of His Son, to make us able to love like Him. It gives us the special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith, to confess the name of Christ and never to be ashamed of the cross." Pope Francis said.
He continued, "Confirmation infuses us with the Holy Spirit, whose action pervades the whole person, and the whole of life, as shining through the seven gifts that Tradition has always evidenced. What are these gifts? Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of God. When we receive the Holy Spirit in our heart and allow Him to act, Christ Himself makes Himself present in us and molds our life through us, it will be He, who prays, who forgives, who infuses hope and consolation, who serves brethren, who make Himself close to the needy and the least, who creates communion, who sows peace. Think how important this is; through the Holy Spirit, Christ Himself comes to do all this in our midst for us. For this reason it is important that children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation."
Pope Francis concluded the lesson by saying, "Let us remember first of all to thank the Lord for this gift, and then to ask Him to help us to love as true Christians, to walk always with joy according to the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."