Pope Francis baptizes 26 babies in ceremony marking baptism of Jesus

Pope Francis addresses the crowd in St. Peter's Square on Sunday at the Vatican.

Story highlights

  • 13 girls, 13 boys baptized in ceremony in the Sistine Chapel Sunday
  • The annual tradition occurs during a Mass to mark the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan

(CNN)Pope Francis baptized 26 infants in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel on Sunday, in an annual tradition commemorating the baptism of Jesus.

Thirteen girls and thirteen boys were baptized during the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the Sistine Chapel, the celebrated chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the Pope's official residence.
    During his brief homily, Francis told those present to encourage their children's faith.
    "Do not forget that the greatest legacy that you can give your children is faith. Cherish it to make sure is not lost, to make it grow and to leave it as a legacy," he said, according to a statement from the Vatican press office.
    During his remarks, amid the sound of crying babies, he encouraged the mothers present to nurse their children.
    "Just one bit of advice: when a child cries because he's hungry, I'll say to the mothers -- if your child is hungry, feel free to feed him here," he said.
    The Pope traditionally baptizes a number of infants during the annual Mass marking the feast day of Jesus' baptism in the River Jordan.