Baptism of desire?


#1

My children were not allowed to be baptised. Nor was I was allowed to take my children to Church, or talk much about God by their father, my first husband. (yes, I know. Diana had three people in her marriage, I only had one).
When the youngest, Isabeau, was 6 I started to do it anyway and they were both enrolled in catechism classes. They were to be baptised at Easter.

My son hated it, but my daughter loved it and everything to do with the Church. I used to joke that she would be a priest when she grew up.

However, she drowned before she was baptised. At the hospital the priest did something to her, but she was gone at the time. I was so distraught I did not inquire…I could hardly breathe. If only my tears would count as a baptism I wouldn’t worry.

I have often wondered about her status…I have been afraid to ask. Actually, I’m terrified to ask…
Can someone honestly bring me some comfort? She was 6.
How do you know if there was a baptism of desire?

My son flatly refused to continue after her death and has never indicated any interest in the Church since. I can only pray he will come home someday.


#2

The Catholic Church states in the Catechism:1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say:[INDENT]"Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
[/INDENT]And also from the International Theological Commission:"The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness, even if there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in Revelation."
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html


#3

OK. Thank you.
No more answers, please. It’s very painful.


#4

I am very sorry for your loss and your pain. I hope you will forgive me for adding more-- I believe it will be both relevant and more comforting.

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:1, topic:322409"]
they were both enrolled in catechism classes. They were to be baptised at Easter.... my daughter loved it and everything to do with the Church.... She was 6.
How do you know if there was a baptism of desire?

[/quote]

According to your description, your daughter was not an infant but a willing catechumen. We therefore have good reason to believe that the following apply:

And even if she had not progressed very far in the catechumenate:


#5

That gives me much hope. Thank you. Perhaps she isnt lost after all.
She really did love the Church and God. And was very excited to be baptised. I can still see her praying the rosary before bed.
Bless you.


#6

[quote="aspirant, post:4, topic:322409"]
I am very sorry for your loss and your pain. I hope you will forgive me for adding more-- I believe it will be both relevant and more comforting.

According to your description, your daughter was not an infant but a willing catechumen. We therefore have good reason to believe that the following apply:

And even if she had not progressed very far in the catechumenate:

[/quote]

Beautifully said. :thumbsup:

I could also add that this is by no means a "new" or "Vatican II" belief: in the 4th century AD, St. Ambrose of Milan delivered a very famous sermon on the occasion of the death of a Roman citizen (an adult, and I think an emperor's brother) who had expressed a fervent wish for baptism, but died two days before he could receive the Sacrament. In his eulogy, the great Saint stated his conviction, in no certain terms, that the young man had the full effects of the Sacrament of Baptism, by virtue of his desire for it. Quoting Wisdom 4:7, he goes on to say that one should not doubt the salvation of such a person. It's one of the most moving passages in the whole patristic corpus, in my opinion.

OP, take comfort: according to St. Ambrose, your child is in paradise. :thumbsup:


#7

Thank you all for your replies. I am very glad I had the courage to ask.
I shall walk on with the knowledge that she is in heaven.
Now I can work on my son…
Again,
God bless you all.


#8

You can look up all of the church teachings, and they are wonderful and provide very good information. However, you can also answer this question with a basic understanding of God. Our God is not one of vengeance, not one with a desire to send people to hell. Our God is full of mercy and compassion, and would not condemn a person for that which they could not control. Take peace in the fact that your beautiful little girl is with her Lord and Savior in paradise, and some day you will be reunited. It is my firm belief that she is far more happy now than she ever could have been here on Earth.


#9

[quote="CatholicGeek1, post:8, topic:322409"]
You can look up all of the church teachings, and they are wonderful and provide very good information. However, you can also answer this question with a basic understanding of God. Our God is not one of vengeance, not one with a desire to send people to hell. Our God is full of mercy and compassion, and would not condemn a person for that which they could not control. Take peace in the fact that your beautiful little girl is with her Lord and Savior in paradise, and some day you will be reunited. It is my firm belief that she is far more happy now than she ever could have been here on Earth.

[/quote]

true.

Delta,
I feel for you. Truly. Please take comfort in Catholic's very good post.
God bless you and your family


#10

I'm crying now.
Honestly, thank you all so much.


#11

Perhaps you should thank your daughter. She’s probably praying for us all, and especially you. :slight_smile:


#12

I'm so sorry. I hope that it is okay that I pray for you.


#13

Catechumens are normally buried with all the rights of the baptized; the baptism of desire is presumed. Note that in canon law, an ecclesiastical funeral MUST be granted to a catechumen, just as if they had been baptized:

CHAPTER II.

THOSE TO WHOM ECCLESIASTICAL FUNERALS MUST BE GRANTED OR DENIED

Can. 1183 §1. When it concerns funerals, catechumens must be counted among the Christian faithful.

§2. The local ordinary can permit children whom the parents intended to baptize but who died before baptism to be given ecclesiastical funerals.


#14

Yes, the priest did give her a proper Catholic funeral. And she was buried in the Catholic cemetery.


#15

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