THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X
:Prayer in General
1 Q: What does this Part of Christian Doctrine treat of?
A: This Part of Christian Doctrine treats of Prayer in general, and of the Our Father in particular.
2 Q: What is prayer?
A: Prayer is an elevation of the mind to God to adore Him, to thank Him, and to ask Him for what we need.
3 Q: How is prayer divided?
A: Prayer is divided into mental and vocal prayer. Mental prayer is that made with the mind alone; and vocal prayer is that expressed in words accompanied by attention of mind and devotion of heart.
4 Q: Can prayer be divided in any other way?
A: Prayer may also be divided into private and public prayer.
5 Q: What is private prayer?
A: Private prayer is that which each one says individually for himself or for others.
6 Q: What is public prayer?
A: Public prayer is that said by the Sacred Ministers in the name of the Church and for the salvation of the faithful. That prayer also which is said in common and publicly by the faithful, in processions, pilgrimages and in God's house, may also be called public prayer.
7 Q: Have we a well-founded hope of obtaining by means of prayer the helps and graces of which we stand in need?
A: The hope of obtaining from God the graces of which we stand in need is founded on the promises of the omnipotent, merciful and all-faithful God, and on the merits of Jesus Christ.
8 Q: In whose name should we ask of God the graces we stand in need of?
A: We should ask of God the graces we stand in need of in the Name of Jesus Christ, as He Himself has taught us and as is done by the Church, which always ends her prayers with these words: Through our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 Q: Why should we beg graces of God in the Name of Jesus Christ?
A: We should beg graces of God in the Name of Jesus Christ because He is our Mediator, and it is through Him alone that we can approach the throne of God.
10 Q: If prayer is so powerful how is it that many times our prayers are not heard?
A: Many times our prayers are not heard, either because we ask things not conducive to our eternal salvation, or because we do not ask properly.
11 Q: Which are the chief things we should ask of God?
A: The chief things we should ask of God are His own glory, our eternal salvation and the means of obtaining it.
12 Q: Is it not also lawful to ask for temporal goods?
A: Yes, it is lawful to ask God for temporal goods, but always with the condition that these be in conformity with His Holy will and not a hindrance to our salvation.
13 Q: If God knows all that is necessary for us, why should we pray?
A: Although God knows all that is necessary for us, He nevertheless wills that we should pray to Him so as to acknowledge Him as the Giver of every good gift, to attest our humble submission to Him, and to merit His favors for ourselves.
14 Q: What is the first and best disposition to render our prayers efficacious?
A: The first and best disposition to render our prayers efficacious is to be in the state of grace; or if we are not in that state, to desire to put ourselves in it.
15 Q: What other dispositions are required in order to pray well?
A: To pray well we specially require recollection, humility, confidence, perseverance and resignation.
16 Q: What is meant by praying with recollection?
A: It means remembering that we are speaking to God; and hence we should pray with all respect and devotion, as far as possible avoiding distractions, that is, every thought foreign to our prayers.
17 Q: Do distractions lessen the merit of prayer?
A: Yes, when we ourselves bring them about, or when we do not promptly drive them away; but if we do all we can to be recollected in God, then our distractions do not lessen the merit of our prayer, and may even increase it
18 Q: What is required to pray with recollection?
A: Before prayer we should banish all occasions of distraction, and during prayer we should reflect that we are in the presence of God who sees and hears us.
19 Q: What is meant by praying with humility?
A: It means sincerely acknowledging our own unworthiness, powerlessness and misery, and as well as this observing a respectful posture.
20 Q: What is meant by praying with confidence?
A: It means that we should have a firm hope of being heard, if it is to God's glory and our own true welfare.
21 Q: What is meant by praying with perseverance?
A: It means that we should not grow tired of praying, if God does not at once hear us, but that we should ever continue to pray with increased fervor.
22 Q: What is meant by praying with resignation?
A: It means that we should conform our will to the will of God, even when our prayers are not heard, because He knows better than we do what is necessary for our eternal salvation.
23 Q: Does God always hear prayers when well said?
A: Yes, God always hears prayers when well said; but in the way He knows to be most conducive to our eternal salvation, and not always in the way we wish.
24 Q: What effects does prayer produce in us?
A: Prayer makes us recognize our dependence on God, the Supreme Lord, in all things; it makes us think on heavenly things; it makes us advance in virtue; it obtains for us God's mercy; it strengthens us against temptation; it comforts us in tribulation; it aids us in our needs; and it obtains for us the grace of final perseverance.
25 Q: When should we especially pray?
A: We should especially pray when in danger, in temptation, and at the hour of death; moreover, we should pray often, and it is advisable we should do so morning and night, and when beginning the more important actions of the day.
26 Q: For whom should we pray?
A: We should pray for all; first, for ourselves, then for our relatives, superiors, benefactors, friends and enemies; for the conversion of poor sinners, and of those outside the true Church, and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
:The Lord's Prayer in General
1 Q: Which is the most excellent of all vocal prayers?
A: The most excellent of all vocal prayers is that which Jesus Christ taught us, that is to say, the Our Father.
2 Q: Why is the Our Father the most excellent of all prayers?
A: The Our Father is the most excellent of all prayers because Jesus Christ Himself composed it and taught it to us; because it contains clearly and in a few words all we can hope for from God; and because it is the standard and model of all other prayers.
3 Q: Is the Our Father also the most efficacious of prayers?
A: Yes, it is also the most efficacious of prayers, because it is the most acceptable to God, since in it we pray in the very words His Divine Son has taught us.
4 Q: Why is the Our Father called the Lord's prayer?
A: The Our Father is called the Lord's Prayer, precisely because Jesus Christ our Lord has taught it to us with His own lips.
5 Q: How many petitions are there in the Our Father?
A: In the Our Father there are seven petitions preceded by an introduction.
6 Q: Say the Our Father.
(1) Our Father who art in Heaven: (2) Hallowed be Thy Name; (3) Thy kingdom come; (4) Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; (5) Give us this day our daily bread; (6) And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; (7) And lead us not into temptation; (8) But deliver us from evil. Amen.
7 Q: When invoking God in the beginning of the Lord's Prayer, why do we call Him Our Father?
A: In the beginning of the Lord's Prayer we call God Our Father, to foster confidence in His infinite goodness by the remembrance that we are his children.
8 Q: How can we say that we are the children of God?
A: We are the children of God: first, because He has created us in His own image, and preserves and governs us by His providence; and secondly, because by an Act of special benevolence He has adopted us in Baptism as brothers of Jesus Christ and co-heirs with Him to eternal glory.
9 Q: Why do we call God Our Father and not my Father?
A: We call God Our Father and not my Father, because we are all His children, and hence we should look on and love one another as brothers and pray for one another.
10 Q: God being in every place, why do we say: Who art in heaven?
A: God is in every place; but we say: Our Father who art in heaven, to raise our hearts to heaven, where God manifests His glory to His children.
11 Q: What do we ask in the First Petition when we say: Hallowed be Thy Name?
A: In the First Petition: Hallowed be Thy Name, we ask that God may be known, loved, honored and served by the whole world and by ourselves in particular.
12 Q: What do we intend when we ask that God may be known, loved, honored and served by the whole world?
A: We intend to beg that infidels may come to the knowledge of the Lord God, that heretics may recognize their errors, that schismatics may return to the unity of the Church, that sinners may repent, and that the just may persevere in well-doing.
13 Q: Why do we first of all ask that the Name of God may be sanctified?
A: We first of all ask that the Name of God may be sanctified, because the glory of God should be nearer our hearts than all other goods and interests.
14 Q: How can we promote the glory of God?
A: We can promote the glory of God by prayer, by good example, and by directing to Him all our thoughts, affections and actions.
15 Q: What do we mean by the Kingdom of God?
A: By the Kingdom of God we mean a threefold spiritual Kingdom; that is, the reign of God in us, or the reign of grace; the reign of God on earth, or the Holy Catholic Church; and the reign of God in heaven, or Paradise.
16 Q: In the words: Thy Kingdom come, what do we ask with regard to grace?
A: With regard to grace we beg that God may reign in us by His sanctifying grace, by which He deigns to dwell within us as a king in his palace; and that He may keep us ever united to Himself by the virtues of faith, hope and charity, through which He reigns over our intellect, our heart and our will.
17 Q: In the words: Thy Kingdom come, what do we ask regarding the Church?
A: Regarding the Church we ask that she may be spread and propagated ever more and more throughout the world for the salvation of mankind.
18 Q: In the words: Thy Kingdom come, what do we ask regarding Heaven?
A: Regarding Heaven we beg to be one day admitted into that Paradise for which we were created and where we shall be perfectly happy.
19 Q: What do we ask in the Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?
A: In the Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, we beg the grace to do the will of God in all things by obeying His Commandments as promptly as the Angels and Saints obey Him in Heaven; and we also beg the grace to correspond to divine inspirations and to live resigned to the will of God should He send us tribulations.
20 Q: Is it necessary to do the will of God?
A: It is as necessary to do the will of God as it is to work out our salvation, because Jesus Christ has said that they alone who have done the will of His Father shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
21 Q: In what way can we know the will of God?
A: We can know the will of God especially by means of the Church and of the spiritual superiors appointed by God to guide us along the way of salvation; we may also learn His most holy will from the divine inspirations that come to us and from the very surroundings in which the Lord has placed us.
22 Q: Should we always recognize the will of God in adversity as well as in prosperity?
A: Both in prosperity and adversity we should always recognize the will of God, who directs or permits all things for our good.
23 Q: What do we ask in the Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread?
A: In the Fourth Petition we beg of God all that is daily necessary for soul and body.
24 Q: What do we ask of God for our soul?
A: For our soul we ask of God the sustenance of our spiritual life, that is, we pray the Lord to give us His grace of which we stand in continual need.
25 Q: How is the life of the soul nourished?
A: The life of the soul is nourished principally by the food of the word of God and by the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
26 Q: What do we ask of God for our body?
A: For the body we ask all that is necessary for the sustainment of our temporal life.
27 Q: Why do we say: Give us this day our daily bread, rather than: Give us bread this day?
A: We say: Give us this day our daily bread, rather than: Give us bread this day, to exclude all desire of what is another's; and hence we beg the Lord to help us in acquiring just and lawful gains, so that we may procure our maintenance by our own toil And without theft or fraud.
28 Q: Why do we say: Give us bread, and not: Give me bread?
A: We say: Give us, rather than, Give me, to remind us that as everything comes from God, so if He gives us His gifts in abundance, He does it in order that we may share what we do not need with the poor.
29 Q: Why do we add: Daily?
A: We add, Daily, because we should desire that which is necessary to life, and not an abundance of food and other goods of the earth.
30 Q: What more does Daily signify in the Fourth Petition?
A: The word Daily signifies that we should not be too solicitous regarding the future, but that we should simply ask what we need at present.
31 Q: What do we ask in the Fifth Petition: And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us?
A: In the Fifth Petition: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us, we ask God to pardon us our sins as we pardon those who offend us.
32 Q: Why are our sins called debts?
A: Our sins are called debts, because we must satisfy God's justice for them either in this life or in the next.
33 Q: Can those who do not forgive their neighbor hope that God will pardon them?
A: Those who do not forgive their neighbor have no reason to hope that God will pardon them; especially since they condemn themselves when they ask God to forgive them as they forgive their neighbor.
34 Q: What do we ask in the Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation?
A: In the Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation, we ask God to deliver us from temptation either by not allowing us to be tempted, or by giving us grace not to be conquered.
35 Q: What are temptations?
A: Temptations are an incitement to sin that comes from the devil, or from the wicked, or from our own evil passions.
36 Q: Is it a sin to have temptations?
A: No, it is no sin to have temptations; but it is a sin to consent to them, or voluntarily to expose oneself to the danger of consenting to them.
37 Q: Why does God allow us to be tempted?
A: God allows us to be tempted so as to test our fidelity, increase our virtue, and augment our merits.
38 Q: What should we do to avoid temptations?
A: To avoid temptation we should fly dangerous occasions, guard our senses, receive the sacraments frequently, and have recourse to the practice of prayer.
39 Q: What do we ask in the Seventh Petition: But deliver us from evil?
A: In the Seventh Petition: But deliver us from evil, we ask God to free us from evils, past, present, and future, and particularly from the greatest of all evils which is sin, and from eternal damnation, which is its penalty.
40 Q: Why do we say: Deliver us from evil and not: From evils?
A: We say: Deliver us from evil, and not, from evils, because we should not desire to be exempt from all the evils of this life, but only from those which are not good for our souls; and hence we beg liberation from evil in general, that is, from whatever God sees would be bad for us.
41 Q: Is it not lawful to beg liberation from some evil in particular, for example, from sickness?
A: Yes, it is lawful to beg liberation from some evil in particular but always in bowing to the will of God, who may even ordain that particular affliction for the good of our soul.
42 Q: How do the tribulations, which God sends us, help us?
A: Tribulations help us to do penance for our sins, to practice virtue, and above all to imitate Jesus Christ, our Head, to whom it is fitting we should conform ourselves in our sufferings, if we wish to have a share in His glory.
43 Q: What is the meaning of Amen at the end of the Our Father?
A: Amen means: So be it; So I do desire; Thus do I pray the Lord; Thus do I hope.
44 Q: To obtain the graces asked in the Our Father is it enough to recite it any way at all?
A: To obtain the graces asked in the Our Father we must recite it without haste and with attention; and we must put our heart into it.
45 Q: When should we say the Our Father?
A: We should say the Our Father every day, because every day we have need of God's help.
1 Q: What prayer do we usually say after the Our Father?
A: After the Our Father we say the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Hail Mary, through which we have recourse to the Blessed Virgin.
2 Q: Why is the Hail Mary called the Angelic Salutation?
A: The Hail Mary is called the Angelic Salutation, because it begins with the salutation addressed by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary.
3 Q: Whose are the words of the Hail Mary?
A: The words of the Hail Mary are partly the Archangel Gabriel's, partly St. Elizabeth's, and partly the Church's.
4 Q: Which are the words of the Archangel Gabriel?
A: The words of the Archangel Gabriel are these: Hail, full of grace, The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.
5 Q: When was it that the angel said these words to Mary?
A: The angel said these words to Mary when he went to announce to her, on the part of God, the mystery of the Incarnation that was to be wrought in her.
6 Q: What is our object in saluting the Blessed Virgin with the very words of the Archangel?
A: In saluting the Blessed Virgin with the words of the Archangel we congratulate her by recalling to mind the singular privileges and gifts which God has granted her in preference to all other creatures.
7 Q: Which are the words of St. Elizabeth?
A: The words of St. Elizabeth are these: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
8 Q: When was it that St. Elizabeth said these words?
A: St. Elizabeth, inspired by God, said these words when, three months before she gave birth to St. John the Baptist, she was visited by the Blessed Virgin, who then bore her Divine Son in her womb.
9 Q: What do we intend by saying these words?
A: In saying the words of St. Elizabeth we congratulate the Blessed Virgin on her high dignity as Mother of God, and we bless God and thank Him for having given us Jesus Christ through Mary.
10 Q: Whose are the other words of the Hail Mary?
A: All the other words of the Hail Mary have been added by the Church.
11 Q: What do we ask in the last part of the Hail Mary?
A: In the last part of the Hail Mary we beg the protection of the Blessed Virgin during this life and especially at the hour of death, when we shall have greater need of it.
12 Q: Why do we say the Hail Mary, rather than any other prayer, after the Our Father?
A: Because the Blessed Virgin is our most powerful advocate with Jesus Christ, and hence, after having said the prayer taught us by Jesus Christ, we pray the Blessed Virgin to obtain for us the graces we have asked therein.
13 Q: Why is the Blessed Virgin so powerful?
A: The Blessed Virgin is so powerful, because, being the Mother of God, she cannot but be heard by Him.
14 Q: What do the Saints teach us on devotion to Mary?
A: Regarding devotion to Mary the Saints teach us that those who are truly devout to her are loved and protected by her with a most tender Mother's love, and that with her help they are sure to find Jesus find and obtain Paradise
15 Q: What form of devotion to Mary does the Church recommend in a very special manner?
A: The devotion to the Blessed Virgin which the Church specially recommends is the Holy Rosary.
:The Nature of the Sacraments
1 Q: What is treated of in the fourth part of the Christian Doctrine?
A: In the fourth part of the Christian Doctrine the sacraments are treated of.
2 Q: What is meant by the word sacrament?
A: By the word sacrament is meant a sensible and efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ to sanctify our souls.
3 Q: Why do you call the sacraments sensible and efficacious signs of grace?
A: I call the sacraments sensible and efficacious signs of grace because all the sacraments signify by means of sensible things, the divine grace which they produce in our souls.
4 Q: Show by an example how the sacraments are sensible and efficacious signs of grace.
A: In Baptism the pouring of water on the head of the person, and the words: "I baptize thee," that is, I wash thee, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," are a sensible sign of that which Baptism accomplishes in the soul; just as water washes the body, so in like manner does the grace given in Baptism cleanse the soul from sin.
5 Q: How many sacraments are there, and what are they called?
A: There are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony.
6 Q: What is necessary to constitute a sacrament?
A: To constitute a sacrament it is necessary to have the matter, the form, and the minister, who must have the intention to do what the Church does.
7 Q: What is the matter of the sacraments?
A: The matter of the sacraments is the sensible thing made use of in effecting the sacrament; such as, for example, natural water in Baptism, oil and balsam in Confirmation.
8 Q: What is the form of the sacraments?
A: The form of the sacraments is the words which are pronounced in order to effect the sacrament.
9 Q: Who is the minister of the sacraments?
A: The minister of the sacraments is the person who administers or confers the sacrament.
:The Principal Effect of the Sacraments: Grace
10 Q: What is grace?
A: Grace is an inward and supernatural gift given to us without any merit of our own, but through the merits of Jesus Christ in order to gain eternal life.
11 Q: How is grace distinguished?
A: Grace is divided into sanctifying grace, which is also called habitual grace, and actual grace.
12 Q: What is sanctifying grace?
A: Sanctifying grace is a supernatural gift inherent in our soul, and rendering us just, adopted children of God and heirs to Paradise.
13 Q: How many kinds of sanctifying grace are there?
A: Sanctifying grace is of two kinds: first grace and second grace.
14 Q: What is first grace?
A: First grace is that by means of which one passes from the state of mortal sin to the state of justice.
15 Q: And what is second grace?
A: Second grace is an increase of first grace.
16 Q: What is actual grace?
A: Actual grace is a supernatural gift which enlightens the mind, moves and strengthens the will in order to enable us to do good and avoid evil.
17 Q: Can we resist the grace of God?
A: Yes, we can resist the grace of God because it does not destroy our free will.
18 Q: By the aid of our own powers alone can we do anything available to life eternal?
A: Without the help of the grace of God, and by our own powers alone, we cannot do anything helpful to life everlasting.
19 Q: How is grace given us by God?
A: Grace is given us by God chiefly through the sacraments.
20 Q: Do the sacraments confer any other grace besides sanctifying grace?
A: Besides sanctifying grace the sacraments also confer sacramental grace.
21 Q: What is sacramental grace?
A: Sacramental grace consists in the right acquired in the reception of a sacrament, to have at the proper time the actual graces necessary to fulfill the obligations arising from the sacrament received. Thus when we were baptized we received the right to have the grace to live a Christian life.
22 Q: Do the sacraments always confer grace on those who receive them?
A: The sacraments always confer grace provided they are received with the necessary dispositions.
23 Q: Who gave to the sacraments the power of conferring grace?
A: Jesus Christ by His passion and death gave to the sacraments the power of conferring grace.
24 Q: What sacraments confer first sanctifying grace?
A: The sacraments which confer first sanctifying grace, and render us friends of God, are two: Baptism and Penance.
25 Q: How are these two sacraments called on that account?
A: These two sacraments, Baptism and Penance, are on that account called sacraments of the dead, because they are instituted chiefly to restore to the life of grace the soul dead by sin.
26 Q: Which are the sacraments that increase grace in those who already possess it?
A: The sacraments which increase grace in those who already possess it are the other five: Confirmation, Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony, all of which confer second grace.
27 Q: On this account how are they called?
A: These five sacraments -- Confirmation, Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony -- are on that account called sacraments of the living, because those who receive them must be free from mortal sin, that is, already alive through sanctifying grace.
28 Q: What sin does he commit who, conscious that he is not in a state of grace, receives one of the sacraments of the living?
A: He who conscious that he is not in a state of grace, receives one of the sacraments of the living, commits a serious sacrilege.
29 Q: What sacraments are most necessary for salvation?
A: The sacraments most necessary to salvation are two: Baptism and Penance. Baptism is necessary to all, and Penance is necessary to all who have sinned mortally after Baptism.
30 Q: What is the greatest of all the sacraments?
A: The greatest of all the sacraments is the Eucharist, because it contains not only grace, but also Jesus Christ the Author of Grace and of the sacraments.
:The Character Impressed by some of the Sacraments
31 Q: What sacraments can be received only once?
A: The sacraments that can be received only once are three: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.
32 Q: Why can the three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders be received only once?
A: The three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders can be received only once, because each of them imprints a special character on the soul.
33 Q: What is the character that each of the three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders imprints on the soul?
A: The character that each of the three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders imprints on the soul is a spiritual mark that is never effaced.
34 Q: What is the purpose of the character that these three sacraments impress on the soul?
A: The character that these three sacraments imprint on the soul, serves to mark us as members of Jesus Christ at Baptism, as His soldiers at Confirmation, and as His ministers at Holy Orders.
:Nature and Effects of Baptism
1 Q: What is the sacrament of Baptism?
A: Baptism is a sacrament by which we are born again to the grace of God, and become Christians.
2 Q: What are the effects of the sacrament of Baptism?
A: The sacrament of Baptism confers first sanctifying grace by which original sin is washed away, as well as all actual sin if any such exists; it remits all punishment due on account of such sins; it imprints the character of a Christian; it makes us children of God, members of the Church, and heirs to Paradise, and enables us to receive the other sacraments.
3 Q: What is the matter of Baptism?
A: The matter of Baptism is natural water which is poured on the head of the person to be baptized in such a quantity as to flow.
4 Q: What is the form of Baptism?
A: The form of Baptism is: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."
:Minister of Baptism
5 Q: To whom does it belong to confer Baptism?
A: To confer Baptism belongs by right to bishops and parish priests, but in case of necessity any person, whether man or woman, even a heretic or an infidel, can administer it, provided he carries out the rite of Baptism, and has the intention of doing what the Church does.
6 Q: If it were necessary to baptize a person in danger of death, and if several people were present, who should administer the sacrament?
A: If it were necessary to baptize a person in danger of death, and if several people were present, a priest, if such were at hand, should administer the Sacrament, and, in his absence, one of the inferior clergy; and in the absence of such, a layman in preference to a woman, unless in the case in which the greater skill on the part of the woman, or the claims of propriety, should demand otherwise.
7 Q: What intention should the person baptizing have?
A: The person baptizing should have the intention of doing what Holy Church does in baptizing.
:The Rite of Baptism and the Disposition of the Adult who Receives It
8 Q: How is Baptism given?
A: Baptism is given by pouring water on the head of the person to be baptized -- and if it cannot be poured on the head, then on some other principal part of the body -- saying at the same time: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
9 Q: If one were to pour the water and another to pronounce the words would the person be baptized?
A: If one poured the water and another said the words the person would not be baptized; because it is necessary that the person who pours the water should pronounce the words.
10 Q: When in doubt whether the person is dead, is it right to omit baptizing him?
A: When in doubt whether the person is dead, he should be baptized conditionally, saying: "If thou art alive I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
11 Q: When should infants be brought to the Church to be baptized?
A: Infants should be brought to the Church to be baptized as soon as possible.
12 Q: Why such anxiety to have infants receive Baptism?
A: There should be the greatest anxiety to have infants baptized because, on account of their tender age, they are exposed to many dangers of death, and cannot be saved without Baptism.
13 Q: Do parents sin, then, who, through negligence, allow their children to die without Baptism, or who defer it?
A: Yes, fathers and mothers who, through negligence, allow their children to die without Baptism sin grievously, because they deprive their children of eternal life; and they also sin grievously by putting off Baptism for a long time, because they expose them to danger of dying without having received it.
14 Q: When the person who is being baptized is an adult, what dispositions should he have?
A: An adult who is being baptized, besides faith, should have at least imperfect contrition for the mortal sins he may have committed.
15 Q: If an adult in mortal sin was baptized without such sorrow, what would he receive?
A: If an adult was baptized in mortal sin without such sorrow he would receive the character of Baptism, but not the remission of his sins nor sanctifying grace. And these two effects would be suspended, until the obstacle is removed by perfect contrition or by the sacrament of Penance.
:Necessity of Baptism and Obligations of the Baptized
16 Q: Is Baptism necessary to salvation?
A: Baptism is absolutely necessary to salvation, for our Lord has expressly said: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God."
17 Q: Can the absence of Baptism be supplied in any other way?
A: The absence of Baptism can be supplied by martyrdom, which is called Baptism of Blood, or by an act of perfect love of God, or of contrition, along with the desire, at least implicit, of Baptism, and this is called Baptism of Desire.
18 Q: To what is the person baptized bound?
A: The person baptized is bound to always profess the faith and observe the Law of Jesus Christ and of His Church.
19 Q: In receiving holy Baptism what do we renounce?
A: In receiving holy Baptism we renounce, for ever, the devil, his works and pomps.
20 Q: What is meant by the works and pomps of the devil?
A: By the works and pomps of the devil we mean sin and the maxims of the world that are contrary to the maxims of the Gospel.
:Names and Sponsors
21 Q: Why is the name of a saint given to him who is being baptized?
A: To him who is being baptized is given the name of a saint in order to put him under the protection of a heavenly patron and to animate him to imitate that saint's example.
22 Q: Who are the godfathers and godmothers in Baptism?
A: The godfathers and godmothers in Baptism are those persons who, in accordance with the decree of the Church, hold the infants at the font, answer for them, and become guarantees in the sight of God for their Christian education, especially in the absence of the parents.
23 Q: Are we obliged to keep the promises and renunciations made for us by our sponsors?
A: We are certainly obliged to observe the promises and renunciations made for us by our sponsors, because it is only on this condition that God has received us into His grace.
24 Q: What sort of persons should be chosen as godfathers and godmothers?
A: There should be chosen as godfathers and godmothers Catholics of good life, and obedient to the laws of the Church.
25 Q: What are the obligations of godfathers and godmothers?
A: Godfathers and godmothers are bound to see that their spiritual children are instructed in the truths of faith, and live as good Christians and they should edify them by their good example.
26 Q: What tie do sponsors contract in Baptism?
A: Sponsors contract a spiritual relationship with the baptized and with the parents of the baptized, which causes an impediment to marriage with these persons.
THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X