Pope Francis baptizes 32 babies, encourages mothers to breastfeed infants inside Sistine Chapel

'If they are hungry, mothers, feed them,' he says

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Sunday baptized 32 infants in the Sistine Chapel and encouraged their mothers to breastfeed the babies inside the Vatican landmark if the children are hungry.

"Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry," he said to the parents.

The pope formally welcomed the children into the Catholic church, and poured water from a shell-shaped dish over the heads of the babies held in their mothers' arms. Francis pronounced the babies' names one by one, as beaming parents held their children, dressed in white satin or silk gowns and other finery, in the chapel whose ceiling was frescoed by Michelangelo.

"If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here," he said in the same chapel where he was elected as the first Latin American pope.

He is the first pope to choose the name Francis. Among the children were two Francescas. It wasn't clear if Francis, whose cheerfulness and warmth draws huge crowds to the Vatican, have inspired those names.

Watch a video clip of the service courtesy of the Vatican.

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