Catholics have been advised to
always celebrate and attach
more importance to their bap-
tismal dates and names over and above
their birthday dates and other names.-
Rev. Fr Anthony Umana of St.
Thomas Catholic Church, Papa Ibafo
in the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta,
gave the advice during his homily on
the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord
He explained that at baptism, Chris-
tians and Catholics become beloved
children of God and are born in the
Spirit to continue the race of life with
Jesus Christ on their sides and as their
He reminded the parishioners that
Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world,
was baptised by John the Baptist at the
Jordan River for him to identify with
the rest of the world despite the fact
that he never sinned.
The priest quoted from the Gospel
according to Matthew 3:15:
said to him, John the Baptist, in reply,
Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for
us to fulfill all righteousness’’ ’’
He added that with the baptism of
Jesus Christ, God vindicated him as
his beloved son as contained in Mat-
thew 3: 16 and 17 when he said: “Af-
ter Jesus was baptised, he came up
from the water, and behold the heav-
ens were opened and he saw the Spirit
of God descending like a dove, and
coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heav-
ens, saying:This is my beloved Son,
with whom I am well pleased.’’’’
The priest also said through bap-
tism, we become children of God and
through our baptismal names, Gods
knows us individually.
“That will always afford us to have
personal encounters with our heaven-
ly father every time.
Fr Anthony also added that through
baptism, Christ who never sinned be-
came the sin for us while through our
own baptism we who are sinners be-
come holy after Jesus Christ.
“Through baptism, we start our
eternal journey with Jesus Christ be-
cause we are born in the spirit like
Your flesh can not lead you to
eternal life. So always remember your
dates of baptism and baptismal dates
and celebrate them because they are
what really make one to be identified
with Jesus Christ.
When we associate with Christ,
we are no longer ordinary persons as
he will continue to grant us his mer-
cies, and lead us to eternal life.
“He has identified with us by com-
ing to the earth from heaven and for
us to be baptised is to be Christians
and be like Jesus Christ,’’ he said.
The cleric also explained that
through the baptism of Jesus Christ
at the Jordan River, he sanctified the
With the baptism of Jesus Christ
at the water of Jordan, Christ himself
sanctified that water.
That water had since then been
flowing into other rivers in the world
and thus sanctifying them or making
“ We are expected to be blessed by
God when we use those sanctified wa-
ters with faith in God,’’ he said.
He also advised women not to al-
ways substitute their baptismal names
with other names after their marriag-
“ We must not allow our marriages
to remove our baptismal names from
us. We must celebrate our baptismal
names as a means of renewing our
faith in God and identifying with Our
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,’’ he
He also advised Catholic faithful to
always treasure their baptismal cards
and other sacramentals approved by
the Catholic Church for use either in
church or privately.