Pope Francis will celebrate the traditional Easter Vigil liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Saturday. In one of the highlights of the liturgy, the Pope will baptize ten believers from around the world. For the first time in modern Czech history one of them will be from the Czech Republic.
Taťána Čempelová, a fifty year old woman from the small town of Dětmarovice in Moravia, has been walking on air since she received the news that she would be among the ten people baptized by Pope Francis on Holy Saturday. Although she comes from a Catholic family, goes to mass and sings in the local church choir, she has never been baptised. During the communist years when she grew up a religious upbringing was frowned upon and in order to avoid problems her parents simply gave her a religious education at home. When her mother died, Taťána, aged just 17, sought solace in church activities and spent all her spare time helping the local priest. As she grew older she increasingly yearned to be baptised and asked the priest if that would be possible. It was his idea to send a request to the Vatican and make her baptismal a day to remember. Taťána Čempelová told Czech Radio she was greatly honoured to have been selected.
“As regards my feelings there is great humility, and great expectations, although I admit I am a little nervous as well. No one in this country has experienced anything like it, so no one can tell me what to expect.”
The town of Dětmarovice is rife with the news. Taťána Čempelová works at the local town hall and says the community’s many church goers have all come to wish her well. They all perceive it as a special occasion and an honour for the whole town. Everyone will be watching the ceremony on Saturday including Taťána’s three children and three grandchildren. Her husband will be by her side.