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A patient love that generates joy

· Pope Francis meets with families from around the world in St Peter's Square ·

Three words to never forget at home: please, thank you, sorry

More than 100,000 people from 75 countries around the world gathered together in St Peters Square on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning for a pilgrimage organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family during the Year of Faith. It was a meeting of prayer and witness with the Holy Father  and the people chanted the slogan: “Family, experience the joy of faith”.

During the vigil on Saturday, after having listened to the various testimonies of families, the Holy Father gave a meditation inspired by the question: “How is it possible to live the joy which comes from faith in the family today?”. The answer was a reflection on the strains and difficulties that couples face, on the necessity to communicate, and on the consequences of silence. “But what is most burdensome in life”, the Pope warned, “is a lack of love”, the lack of joy in homes. The Pontiff drew attention to the sacrament of marriage in an exhortation to couples: remain united “always and for the rest of your lives”, and do “not pay attention to this makeshift culture, which can shatter our lives”. The Holy Father then repeated the three keywords that he had already presented at Mass on 13 October, in order to avoid husbands and wives smashing plates: please, thank you, and sorry. Lastly, drawing attention to the icon of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, placed next to his chair, the Pope spoke again of the necessity for dialogue between the generations, above all between the young and the old, between grandparents and their grandchildren.

The next day, while celebrating Sunday Mass, the Holy Father offered spiritual and practical advice which Archbishop Paglia called “a little manual for family life”.

Reflecting on the Readings, the Pope outlined three fundamental characteristics of the Christian family: praying together, keeping the faith, and experiencing joy. This, he explained, is what makes us feel and “experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support”, and the “the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God... which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all”.

At the end of the Mass the Pope prayed the Angelus with the pilgrims and asked them to pray above all for families in difficulty.




St. Peter’s Square

Dec. 10, 2019