When I first saw this photo, I was knocked out. Most clergy say their ordination day was the most important day in their life. Most married people say: our wedding day.
For Pope Saint John Paul II, it was his baptism day (June 20, 1920). Here he is, on his first trip back to Poland after being elected pope, visiting his baptismal font and leaving a new paschal candle as a gift to the church (the church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Wadowice, Poland).
In what church building were you baptized? What was the date? Who was the deacon or priest? Who are your godparents? For which saints and persons are you named?
Your baptism confirmed the promise God made the moment you were conceived: “This is my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
No one sang that better than Jeanne-Paule Marie Deckers (1933–1985), “The Singing Nun”:
ENTRE LES ETOILES/AMONG THE STARS
Among the stars the Lord has written your name, among the stars, way up high in his dwelling-place.
Among the stars the Lord placed your life, among the stars close to him in Paradise.
The night when God desired you, the night, that night when your life was fashioned from two bodies,
that night when His love first smiled upon you,
Blessed be that night.
The day that God redeemed you, on that day
the day He made you His child forever
the day when He made His dwelling in your heart
Blessed be that day.
The evening when God will call you, that evening,
That evening when your waning days will hasten your departure,
That evening of reunion, transfigured by hope,
Blessed be that evening.
Among the stars the Lord has written your name,
among the stars, way up high in his dwelling-place.
Among the stars the Lord placed your life,
among the stars close to him in Paradise.
Dr. Paul Ford
Professor of Theology and Liturgy
St. John’s Seminary