The Synod, which will begin in a few days at the Vatican, had an unusual prologue: a preview in the form of celebration, prayer, testimonies and meditations. This was the 8th World Meeting of Families, which took place in Philadelphia and concluded on Sunday afternoon, September 27, with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on Benjamin Franklin Parkway with around one million people present. At the end of the Mass, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, announced that Dublin will host the next World Meeting in three years time. Previous Meetings have included: Rome in 1994 for the Year of the Family, Rio de Janeiro in 1997, Rome during the Jubilee Year of 2000, Manila in 2003, Valencia in 2006, Mexico City in 2009 and Milan in 2012.
The most anticipated moment, the moment for which the visit to the United States and Cuba was assembled, had finally arrived. In Pope Francis’ presence the entire Parkway had been flooded with sounds and colors since the prayer vigil that took place with the Pope on Saturday evening, 16 September. Sunday’s Mass was the defining moment, a true celebration of faith, demonstrating the beauty of family.
St. Peter’s Square
Feb. 20, 2019
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