Did my dishonesty invalidate my baptism?

I was baptized 3 years ago after waiting 40 years to be baptized. I was forced into a marriage at a very young age. I had no formal religious training my mother was a non-practicing Protestant. I started attending the Catholic Church at the age of 16. I started taking instructions at the age of 18, I was divorced at this time. I was told that I could not be baptized until the marriage was annulled. None of my family or any one connected would co-operated with the annulment. My parents and friends refused to even speak to a priest. The had very strong anti-Catholic feelings and believed they were saving me from Catholicism. I continued to attend mass for many years. I eventually met a good man and we married. He was a Protestant but allowed me to have all 7of our children baptized and they were raised in the church and received all of the sacraments. When they were older they learned why I did not. I fell away from the church and did not attend for several years and my youngest child was not sent to CCD as the others had been. She convinced me to take her to church and I realized that I really wanted to be baptized. By this time I had no witnesses for the annulment, only my word. I looked for my ex-husband and could not locate him or any other living member of either of our families. No one had heard from him or seen him in years. After many searches I assumed he was dead. So I took instructions again and was baptized. I lied to the priest and said I had never been married before. I know I was forgiven for the lie, but I am worried if I was not a widow then was my baptism valid? This is very important to me. I am worried about my soul and my husband’s. He converted to Catholicism soon after my baptism and has become a devote Catholic. He reads and studies the faith, has not missed Mass in 3 years and attends daily Mass when he can. He does not know about my situation. I am concerned about both of our souls.

God is truly blessing you by placing this so heavy on your heart. He is calling you to put things in order, and to place your love for him above everything and everyone else. With him all things are possible.

Your baptism was valid, but you need to call your diocese and ask to speak to someone in the Marriage Tribunal office right away. Explain the situation, just as you explained it here. They can tell you if this is something that can quickly be resolved or if it will take time.

You will also need to confess this to a priest and seek his guidance in telling your husband. Since your husband did not know these circumstances, he is not at fault, but he is entitled to know and must know the truth. You will have to refrain from sexual relations until you marriage can be blessed in the Church.

Trust, pray, and do what is right.

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