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Epiphany of the family

· At the General Audience Benedict XVI talks about his Visit to Milan ·

Milan, the city of the family – an epiphany of the family: with these two phrases Benedict XVI summed up the three days he spent in Milan from last Friday to last Sunday. Here, in addition to visiting the Archdiocese, he presided at the concluding events of the Seventh World Meeting of Families. They were days –  as he explained on Wednesday, 6 June, to the faithful who took part in the General

Audience in St Peter's Square –  in which he reasserted, point by point, his teaching on that “community of life and love which God himself wanted for the man and the woman” (as he described the family). The concert at La Scala was a “unique and noble” prologue at the end of which he turned his thoughts to the suffering of families, and especially to those hit by the recent earthquake.
Then, reviewing all the events of these days, he summed up the recurrent themes in his teaching founded on the “Gospel of the Family”. Significantly, he began by reaffirming the value of the celibacy and virginity of consecrated men and women, “a luminous sign of their love for God and for their brethren”. And he then invited young people to respond to the Gospel of Jesus with “a free and aware 'yes' to Jesus' Gospel”; next came his appeal to the authorities “to protect the person in his or her many aspects” and to recognize “the identity proper to the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman”; his participation in the difficulties that family nuclei encounter today; the importance of  Sunday as a time of leisure for the family, and also a time in which to draw closer to God; the appeal to build ecclesial communities “increasingly like a family, capable of reflecting the beauty of the Blessed Trinity”; and, lastly, the need to recognize the importance of the triad made up of “The Family: Work and Celebration” as “gifts of God”.

These are all phrases which made the Milan event “an elegant epiphany of the family”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 20, 2019

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