Question about Baptism and life beginning at conception


Before I begin, I want to state that I am 100% against abortion; I have always felt this way and I will continue to feel this way forever.

The reason I made this statement is because I have a question about “Life Begins at Conception”. Before I proceed with my question, I have to say that my wife is entering her fourth month of pregnancy and I am very excited. The thought of becoming a father never really sank in until I saw the ultrasound and saw my son / daughter moving around on the screen.

My wife (my girlfriend at the time) miscarried two years ago after her first month and this crushed us both inside. When I first saw our child on the screen a few weeks back, I began to think about life begins at conception and the son / daughter we lost 2 years ago.

I know how important it is to have a child baptized in the Catholic Church, so their souls can be saved and if something should happen to them while they are infants, they will be joined with our lord. But, then I began to think about all of the miscarried babies and aborted babies that do not have a chance and what happens to them when they die. I know I have read somewhere ( I think it was on this forum) that there is no official church teaching on what happens to the souls of miscarried and aborted babies.

Then I began to think; since life does begin at conception, why are these fetuses baptized, so we can be assured that they are in heaven with our lord Jesus Christ. Maybe there is a simple answer to this question, but if there is, I do not know the answer to it.

I would like to think that someday, when I pass, I will be able to see the child my wife and I lost two years ago. And I would also like to be able to see the brother / sister I lost four years before I was born. My mother miscarried back in 1974.

Thank you for your time.


I’m not too clear what your question is, but yes, you can baptize your baby (or at least, that’s whta I’ve been told) in a sort of “by proxy” kind of way. Anyone can baptize another in a life or death situation where no priest is available (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but this is what I’ve been taught). My mother does sidewalk counseling (what you and I know as “picketing”) at an abortion clinic – no, not yelling and condeming, praying and offering hope to the women entering. She also carries holy water, and begins each day with a baptism of the entrance-way…If I know my mom, she has checked this out with the priest, and she only “deals” with the really really TLM-type priests; she is a staunch “old-timer” where church rules/regs are concerned – I say this b/c if it’s not ok, I’d give up my ben and jerrys.

There is no official word on miscarriage that I am aware of; to the best of our knowledge, we will meet again when we join the Lord in heaven. I pray for that and rejoice in the fact that Jesus said “let the children come to me” – all of them, the born and the unborn.


We are encouraged to rely upon the justice and mercy of God in situations such a baby dying in utero whether due to miscarriage or direct abortion. It makes sense. God surely wouldn’t hold a soul to rules that are mean for after birth.That would be unjust and cruel. Doesn’t fit with God. He surely gives those souls the same ability to choose Him. I’m sure he knows that souls choice immediately at conception when he creates it.
With regard to baptism. There is no real way to baptise a person after death. But your baptism wishes- your desire to baptise would be something you would want to tell God. I understand that some priests are doing such a ritual-post death baptism that is, as a comfort to parents but I have never seen any official church document allowing for it. I do know of one baptism that took place in utero -with sterile water during a surgery but that is it.But that was a living baby.Of course anyone can administer baptism immediately after birth in the case of danger of imminent death.As a nurse I was instructed how to do that.
It might be helpful for you to name the baby you lost and to enroll him or her in the Shrine of the Holy Innocents. That may give you comfort and ensure that you have made your intention known to God about what you desire for your child.


I wonder the following:

*]Desire is necessary for Baptism
*]There is no Baptism without the desire for it.
*]The pre/new born cannot desire Baptism.
*]The parents, therefore, are asked to publically declare their desire for the childs Baptism before it takes place.
[/list]Of course with the pre/newborn child this desire is not explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance, God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God. (Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1948, “On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ”).

Now. If the parents in their heart deeply desires baptism for the yet unborn infant and the infant passes away before birth or after birth and before Baptism, does the parental desire effect invisibly the sacrament as Augustine explains below?

Augustine says (Super Levit. lxxxiv) that “some have received the invisible sanctification without visible sacraments, and to their profit; but though it is possible to have the visible sanctification, consisting in a visible sacrament, without the invisible sanctification, it will be to no profit.” Since, therefore, the sacrament of Baptism pertains to the visible sanctification, it seems that a man can obtain salvation without the sacrament of Baptism, by means of the invisible sanctification.

The sacrament of Baptism may be wanting to anyone in reality but not in desire: for instance, when a man wishes to be baptized, but by some ill-chance he is forestalled by death before receiving Baptism. And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of “faith that worketh by charity,” whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly. Hence Ambrose says of Valentinian, who died while yet a catechumen: “I lost him whom I was to regenerate: but he did not lose the grace he prayed for.”


We commend them to the loving care of Christ upon their (the little babies) death, whether by abortion or miscarriage.

I take this to heart as I have three of them up there waiting for me… it gives me something to look forward to after death (aside from the joy of seeing Christ).

Have peace brother! And if will help, give your miscarried baby a name. That way the baby is recognized.


There actual several different types of baptism. Baptism by Water (the traditional baptism) is only one of them. There is also baptism of blood (martyrdom) and baptism of desire (explicit or even implicit desire for baptism). For more information on this:

It is my personal belief that unborn children could experience a baptism of desire since I believe God allows all individuals with a soul the opportunity to either choose or reject Himself.


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