Words From The Holy Father



Beloved families now that you are in Rio de Janeiro from all peoples and nations welcome to all of you. Welcome to all the families. Beloved families from all over the world who on radio and television are following this event I send my heartfelt greetings and blessings to all of you. Thank you very much, thank you for sharing this heartfelt expression of faith and joy share with us today. To help us reflect on the family as a true gift and commitment to life and people and the hope of human kind.

Are to is to convey the commitment of love and life. A wonderful gift of God. Make us partake of that which the Lord of life who created the Sacrament of Matrimony created within you. And also their witness to what you have accomplished through His grace. Is it not true that the Lord in many different situations and times of trial and tribulation has always walked by your side. Yes indeed, the Lord of the Covenant who came to seek you and found you who has always walked with you along the way. God our Lord, who created the Sacrament of Matrimony in which you are united bestowed abundantly upon you to your joy the richness of His love. I would like to summarize here your reflections after an intensive preparation according to the teaching of the Church, within the family meeting in the dioceses, parishes, movements and associations. This undoubtably was a beautiful preparation whose fruits you bear here today to the joy and benefits of us all. The family is the heritage of humankind, because it is the through the family according to God's design that man's presence on earth continue. In Christian families founded on the Sacrament. of Matrimony our faith gives us a marvelous glimpse of the face of Christ. The splendor of truth that fools are homes would light and joy with your lives inspired by the Gospel. Families today the world is getting a misleading message of fainting happiness which cannot be truly achieved which brings in its wake only desolation and bitterness. Happiness cannot be achieved through the freedom without clearly because this is the bath of irresponsible selfishness which thunders and destroys the family and society. It is not true that spouses are like slaves sentenced to their own weakness and cannot stay faithful until death do us part. May the Lord who calls upon you to live as one flesh united in body and soul your whole life long endow you with strength and fidelity which ennobles your union and sheaves you against betrayal which takes away your dignity and happiness bringing into the home division and bitterness whose main victims are our children. The best protection of the home lies in fidelity a gift from a faithful and merciful God in the love he redeems. Pope with girl

Once again I appeal for the hope and freedom. Families from Latin America and the world over do not heed this lying message that degrades people, undermines the greatest traditions and values, burdening their children with suffering and unhappiness. The cause of the family dignifies the world and frees it in the real truth of the human being and the mystery of life in the gift of God, man and woman created in the likeness of God. You must fight for this cause in order to secure your happiness and the future of the human family.

From here this evening, where families from the four corners of the world link hands in a huge chain of love and fidelity, I call upon those striving to build a new society where the civilization of love reigns. Befriend your families as a precious and irreplaceable gift, a precious and irreplaceable gift protect them yes families you must protect them with righteous laws which combat poverty and scourge and discourage joblessness and which allow parents to accomplish their mission. How can young people create a family if they are not able to maintain them because poverty destroys the family, bars its access to culture and basic education, corrupts customs, hurts the very health of young people and adults alike. Help them, help them. This is where your future lies.

In modern history there are several social phenomena which call upon us to make an examination of conscience regarding the family, and in many cases we must safely admit that mistakes and distortions have taken place. How can we not denounce those types of behavior driven by a lack of restrains and irresponsibility which lead to human beings treated as mere things or the instrument of the fleeting and empty pleasure. How can we not react in the face of this lack of respect, pornography and all of the parts that exploit and who in many cases children pay very, very dearly.

Societies which neglect and nations say and childhood are inhuman and irresponsible the homes that do not fully educate their children but abandon them are committing a very serious injustice which they will have to account for in the presence of God. I know that many a family is at times a victim of situations and their cases where they would like to appeal to solidarity of one and all so that children who are suffering all forms of poverty, economic poverty, and especially model impoverished ones which generates the phenomena which is referred to in the letter to the families. There are far to many orphans of parents who are still alive. As was recalled by Cardinal of the President of Pontifical Council for the Family serve as a symbol of true charity and the outcome of the 1st World Meeting with Families in Rome which was a town of children has been built in Rwanda and this was built with the help of many people and some generous institutions and now another such town is being built in Salvador, Zaire, and Brazil where those marshlands which I visited where I left behind an appeal for hope and human deferment during my very first apostolic visit to brazil in July, 1980.

This effort bears in itself a message and invitation which I would like to address to the world through you families of the world. Embrace your children with responsible love, defend them like a gift of God from the moment of conception at a time when human life springs in the womb of the mother's the abominable crying of abortion ashamed to humankind. Do not condemn those conceived through the most unjust of situations to those most innocent human beings. This proclamation on the priceless value of life from its mother’s womb and against any move to do away with this life, how many times did we hear this from Mother Teresa of Calcutta. We have all heard her during the witness she bore at the 1st Meeting in Rome both lips today are dumb by her death but the message of Mother Teresa, her pro-life message continues to be vibrant and convincing as never before. In this stadium turned now by the flow of lights into stained glass windows of a huge cathedral today's celebration seeks to invite you all to a great commitment for which we call upon God almighty to help us with the families-the families united in the love of Christ. Pastorally organized, actively present in society committed to their mission to humanize a free and build a world according to the heart of Christ. I call upon you to be clearly the hope of humankind.

The children so that they may grow up as Jesus did in the home of Nazareth in the midst of their mothers lies dormant the seed a new humanity in faces of the children shine forth the future, the future-- the millennium and all this lies in the hand of God. For the youth, so that they may whole heartily commit themselves to preparing their family of tomorrow educating themselves for the true love which is the openness to the other the ability to listen and respond to the commitment to generosity including personal sacrifices and the willingness to understand one another and to forgive.

Yesterday, at Rio Centre I thanked Rio de Janeiro for this great inspiration. Share in this divine architecture this human architecture which has been put together in a wonderful way, inspiration-inspiration that you are going to create within families in marriages. This is truly divine, truly human-you are the human and divine structures and the only true way of putting this together is through love and responsibility. I came to this conclusion-some 50 years ago that love and responsibility are the key factors it seems to me that this is the true principle to put the two things together-the divine and human architecture within the institution of marriage. And therefore families from all over the world I would like to conclude by renewing my appeal-be the true living witnesses of Christ-who is the way, the truth and the life. Allow the fruits of the pastoral theological congress recently concluded to enter your hearts, and may the grace and peace of God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

After this event we can expect another, Mary, Queen of the Family, Seat of Wisdom, Servant of the Lord, Pray for us, Pray for our youth, Pray for the families-Amen!



Feast of the Holy Family, December 29, 1996

The Pope’s Sunday Angelus Address,  14 September 97.


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