Monday, January 19, 2009

6th World Meeting of Families

VATICAN - The Pope's Message during the Rosary at the 6th World Meeting of Families: “the family is in the heart of God, Creator and Savior. Working for the family means working for a bright and dignified future for humanity and for the building of the Kingdom of God”

Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - “In light of its essential social function, the family has the right to be recognized in its own identity and to not be confused with other forms of coexistence, as well as the right to count on the proper cultural, juridical, economic, social, and sanitary protection and, in a particular manner, on support that takes into account the number of children and the available economic resources and is sufficient to allow a freedom of education and in choosing schools.” This is what the Holy Father Benedict XVI said in his video-message sent to the participants in the praying of the Rosary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, on January 17, during the 6th World Meeting of Families.

During the meditation on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, there were also testimonies given from Christian families from all over the world, as “an echo and reflection in our time of the story of Jesus and His family,” the Pope said, commenting that these testimonies “have shown us how the seed of the Gospel continues to grow and bear fruit amidst the various situations in today's world.”
Reflecting on the theme of the 6th World Meeting of Families - “The family, teacher of human and Christian values” - in his video-message, the Pope spoke of the fact that “the domestic environment is a school of humanity and Christian life for all its members, with beneficial results for individuals, the Church, and society.” The family is where one learns to live and cultivate mutual love and truth, respect and justice, loyalty and collaboration, service and care for the least among us. “The Christian family should be filled with the presence of God, placing in His hands the daily events and asking for His help to carry out their irreplaceable mission,” the Pope said, highlighting the “utmost importance” of family prayer and listening to and meditating on the Word of God. “In this manner, personal and family life is transformed and improved gradually, dialogue is enriched, faith is transmitted to the children, the desire to be one grows, and the family becomes more and more united and strong, like a house built on the rock.”

Thanks to the power of prayer, “the family becomes a community of disciples and missionaries in Christ. It is in the family where the Gospel is received, communicated, and lived,” the Pope said, stressing the importance of the testimony of life and the explicit profession of the faith by members of the family in their various environments and calling for a more active participation in the pastoral activities of their own parish communities, especially those having to do with catechesis for children, marriage preparation, or directly linked to the family life.

The values lived in an authentic family setting (including freedom, solidarity, the common good, justice, and forgiveness) can be a useful reference point in social relations, in the establishment of a “civilization of love.” In fact, “the family is also the vital cell of society, first and decisive resource in its development, and many times the final refuge for people for whom the established structures are not sufficient in meeting their needs.”

The Holy Father concluded his Message by encouraging everyone to have great confidence, as “the family is in the heart of God, Creator and Savior. Working for the family means working for a bright and dignified future for humanity and for the building of the Kingdom of God. We humbly unite ourselves in calling upon divine grace to help us to work with determination and joy in the noble cause of the family, called to be evangelized and called to evangelize, to be human and called to humanize.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 19/1/2009)

Complete text of the Holy Father's message, in Spanish

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