BibleBeltCatholics | Sharing quotes and writings of the Early Church Fathers with our separated Christian brethren in the South!
Home 1st-2nd Century 3rd-4th Century 5th-8th Century The Catechism Today About this site

The Catholic Church and
the term Catholic
Peter and the Papacy
The Sacraments
Mother?of?God Baptism
Immaclate?Conception Confession
Virgin?Birth   Penance
Immaclate?Conception Eucharist
    The Mass
Virgin?Birth   The Real Presence
Virgin?Birth   Clerical celibacy
  Anointing of the Sick
Other Church Teaching
The Word of God
Heaven, Purgatory and Hell

<<  Fifth through the Eighth CenturiesSpacer>>

The Early Church Fathers on the Sacrament of Baptism and Infant Baptism.


  • Early Church Fathers
  • From the Scriptures



  1. St. Chromatius of Aquileia, (unknown- A.D. c.407)
    St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428)
    St. Isidore of Pelusium, (unknown - A.D. 440)
    St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444)
    Fastidius, (A.D. c.376-c.444)
    St. Prosper of Aquitain, (A.D.c.390- c.463)
    Pope St. Leo I, ( A.D. c.391-461)
    Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458)
    Gelasius of Cyzicus, (unknown- A.D. c.492)
St. Chromatius of Aquileia, (unknown- A.D. c.407), Italian; bishop (and scholar) of Aquileia, in which see he succeeded Valerian in the year 387; he was the friend of St. Ambrose and of St. Jerome.

"As He was about to give a new kind of baptism for the salvation of the human race, and for the remission of sins, He vouchsafed to be baptized the first; not to put away sins, He who alone has not sinned, but in order to sanctify the waters of baptism, so as to wash away the sins of believers. For never would the waters of baptism have had power to cleanse away the sins of believers, had they not been sanctified by touching the Lord's body. He, therefore, was baptized, that we might be washed from sins. He received the laver of regeneration, that we might be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, as Himself says in another place, "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God." The baptism of Christ is, therefore, the cleansing away of our transgressions, and the renewal of a saving life."

Galland. t. viii. Tract, xvii. in St Matthew n. 1, 2, p. 351.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 127-128

St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428), North African; born in Tagaste in A.D. 354, baptized in Milan in A.D. 387, ordained a priest in A.D. 391 and appointed bishop of Hippo in A.D. 395, Augustine is one of our greatest theologians. His numerous works display genius of the highest order, and have ever had great weight in the Christian churches. He is also a Doctor of the Church.

It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated . . . when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. For it is not written, "Unless a man be born again by the will of his parents" or "by the faith of those presenting him or ministering to him," but, "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit." The water, therefore, manifesting exteriorly the sacrament of grace, and the Spirit effecting interiorly the benefit of grace, both regenerate in one Christ that man who was generated in Adam.

Letters 98:2 [A.D. 408]

"What then, some one says, does an infant also need a redeemer? Yes, it needs one; of this the mother who runs faithfully with her little child to the Church to be baptized is a witness; of this is a witness our mother the Church herself, which receives the infant to be cleansed, and to be dismissed freed, or to be nourished in piety. Who will dare to utter a testimony in opposition to so great a mother? "

T. v. Sermo ccxciii. n. 10, p. 1735.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 80

"From the child just born even to the decrepit old man, none is to be prohibited from baptism, so none is there who does not die to sin in baptism: but infants to original sin only, but older persons die also to all those sins whatsoever, which by living ill they have added to that which they derived from their birth."

T. vi. Enchiridion de Fide, n.13 (al. 43), col. 368-9.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 126-127

St. Isidore of Pelusium, (unknown - A.D. 440), a disciple of St. John Chrysostom, he was born in Egypt to a prominent Alexandrian family. He became an ascetic, and moved to a mountain near the city of Pelusium, in the tradition of the Desert Fathers; known to us for his letters, written to Cyril of Alexandria, Theodosius II, and a host of others. His letters display great judgment, precision, and learning.

"As your magnanimity has written to me in order to learn for what cause infants, being sinless, are baptized, I have thought it necessary to write in reply. Some, then, there are, who, but trifling with the matter, say that they are cleansed from that uncleanness which has been communicated to our nature through the sin of Adam. I also am persuaded that this does take place, but not this alone (for that were nothing so considerable), but that many other good gifts, and those far exceeding our nature, are likewise bestowed. For that nature of ours has not only received what was required for the destruction of sin, but has also been adorned with divine gifts. For it has not merely been freed from punishment, and put off all wickedness, but has also been regenerated from above . . . and redeemed, and sanctified, and brought to the adoption of sons, and justified, and made co-heir with the only-begotten, and one body with Him, by means of the participation of the sacred mysteries, and is perfected into His flesh, and is united with Him, even as the body is to its head.

Do not therefore imagine that baptism is merely destructive of sins, but that it is effective also of the adoption of sons, and of a divine relationship, and of thousands of other blessings such as I have named,
and others that I have omitted."

L. iii. Ep. cxiv. p. 333.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 128

St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444), Egyptian; bishop, theologian and Doctor of the Church. He succeeded Theophilus in the patriarchal see of Alexandria, in A.D. 412, and was the great champion of orthodoxy against Nestorius, against whom the general council of Ephesus was called, in A.D. 431 and in which St. Cyril presided.

"When we are baptized we obtain not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but of the defilements of the mind and of the heart, and we are cleansed from the stains of sins by the grace and loving kindness of Him who called us unto salvation."

T. i. l. ix. De Ador. in Sp. et Ver. p. 312.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 128-129

"The salutary and holy baptism suffices for the washing away of sins, and thoroughly cleanses away the stain of past sins."

T. ii. ib.p. 18.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 129

Fastidius (A.D. c.376-c.444) a British bishop, who flourished around A.D. 430, about the same times as St. Cyril of Alexandria, author of De Viduitate Servanda.

"But some one may cite that saying of the Apostle: "With the heart we believe unto justice; but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10) Thou foolish man, this is accomplished at the time of baptism, when for a person to be baptized there only needs confession and faith. For what does the laver of baptism itself avail thee, if faith alone without justice be required? This is the faith of all men, that by baptism sins are cleansed away."

Lib. de vita Christiana, c. xiii. p. 487, t. ix. Galland.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 129

St. Prosper of Aquitain, (A.D.c.390- c.463), a Christian writer and disciple of St. Augustine, as well as the friend and secretary of Pope Leo I. He was the first continuator of Jerome's Universal Chronicle. Prosper was a layman, but he threw himself with ardour into the religious controversies of his day, defending Augustine and propagating orthodoxy.

"They who, without even having received the laver of regeneration, die for the confession of Christ, it avails them as much for the doing away of sins, as if they were washed in the font of baptism.'

Sentent. ex 8. Aug. n. cxlix. col. 564.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 128

Pope St. Leo I, ( A.D. c.391-461), also known as Leo the Great, bishop of Rome (A.D. 440 to 461); an Italian aristocrat, remembered theologically for issuing the Tome of Leo, a document which was foundational to the debates of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.

"For our nature being fickle, and through the stain of sin mortal, although it be already redeemed, and already born again in sacred baptism, ... is prone to evil."

T. i. Serm. xviii. (De Jejun. Dec. Mens, vii.) c. i.p. 55.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 130

"By the sacrament of baptism thou hast been made the temple of the Holy Ghost."

T. i. Sermo xxi. In Nativ. D.N.J.C. i. n. 2, p. 66.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 130

"To every man that is born again, the water of baptism is as it were the womb of the Virgin, the same Holy Spirit filling the font, who also filled the Virgin; that sin which the sacred conception voided there, the mystic ablution may take away here."

T. i. Sermo xxiv. c. 3, (In Nativ. Dom. iv.) p. 80.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 130

Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458), Greek; an influential author, theologian, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria (A.D. 423-457). He played a pivotal role in many early Byzantine church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms. His friendship for Nestorius embroiled him, for a time, with his great contemporary, St. Cyril of Alexandria.

"In place of those sprinklings, the gift of the most holy baptism is enough for those who believe. For not only does it bestow the remission of former sins, but it also places within them the hope of the promised blessings, and makes them partakers of the Lord's death and resurrection; and vouchsafes the participation of the gifts of the Spirit, and makes them sons of God, and not only sons, but heirs also of God, and co-heirs of Christ. For baptism does not merely, as the foolish Messalians think, resemble a knife, by removing the sins that have preceded it, — for this it bestows as a supererogatory matter,— for if these were the only operations of baptism, wherefore do we baptize infants, who have not as yet tasted of sin? But baptism has not only this promise, but others greater and more perfect than this. For it is a pledge of the good things to come; and a type of the resurrection that is to be; and a communication in the Lord's sufferings; and a participation of the Lord's resurrection; and a garment of salvation, and a robe of gladness, and a vesture of light, yea, light itself."

T. iv. lib. v. Haered. Fabul. c. 18, p. 441.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 129-130

Gelasius of Cyzicus, (unknown- A.D. c.492), son of a priest of Cyzicus, he was an ecclesiastical writer who wrote in the Roman province of Bithynia in Asia Minor about A.D. 475 to prove against the Eutychians, that the Nicene Fathers did not teach Monophysitism.

"Our baptism is to be considered, not with the eyes of the body, but of the mind. Thou seest water, reflect on the power of God hidden within the water; for the sacred oracles teach that we are baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire. . . . Wherefore, he who is baptized goes down (into the water), subject to sin, and to the servitude of corruption, but he ascends thence freed from that servitude and sin, made a son and heir of God by His grace, and co-heir with Christ, having put on Christ Himself, as it is written. "As many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ." (Galatians 3)

Hist. Nic. Conc. L. ii. c. xxx. col. 233.
T. ii. Labb.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 131



Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: "For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church." "Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn.



The Church's Scriptures that support Baptism and Infant Baptism in the Church:

Jesus commissioning His Apostles.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus tells us of the necessity of Baptism.

5 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

John 3:5

Peter continues Jesus' teaching that all be baptized by the Church.

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:37-38

Philip baptizes a eunuch

36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water; and the eunuch said: See, here is water: what doth hinder me from being baptized? 37 And Philip said: If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.


Acts 8:36-39

Paul is baptized by Ananias

17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house. And laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, he that appeared to thee in the way as thou camest; that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and rising up, he was baptized.


Acts 9:17-18

Peter commands his fellows disciples to baptize those in his company.

47 Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they desired him to tarry with them some days.


Act 10:47-48

St. Paul tells us all are born with Adam's sin and need baptism.

18 Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:18-21

St. Paul gives us a Catechesis on baptism.

4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4-7

The Church's Scriptures on Infant Baptism and Jesus' love and concern for the smallest of children:


Daughter healed because of the Canaanite woman's faith.

22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us." 24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." 26 And he answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 27 She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Matthew 15:22-28

It is not the will of God that children be damned.

10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in Heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in Heaven. 11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:10-14

Jesus says, "Let the children come to me."

13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; 14 but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven." 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

Matthew 19:13-15

Our Lord tells His disciples to let the children come to Him

13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing even infants to him.

15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."

Luke 18:15-17

Paul and Silas baptize Lydia and her whole household.

14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.

Acts 16:14-15

Paul and Silas baptize a prison guard and his whole household.

29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" 31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family.

Acts 16:29-33

Crispus, his family, and other Corinthians are baptized.

8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.

Acts 18:8

St. Paul tells us: "I baptized the household of Stephanas".

16 I did baptize also the household of Stephanas.

1 Corinthians 1:16

For other Biblical aspects of Baptism visit this page from:

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
Untitled Document