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Monday, October 5, 2015

Society is not strong without the family

Vatican City, September 2015 (VIS) – In today's Sunday Angelus the Pope again asked the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for prayers for the Synod on the Family inaugurated yesterday with Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

“The Synod Fathers, from all over the world and gathered around St. Peter's Successor will reflect during these three weeks on the vocation and the mission of the Church in the Church and in society, for a careful spiritual and pastoral discernment. We will keep our gaze fixed on Jesus in order to find, on the basis of His teaching of truth and mercy, the most appropriate routes for adequate commitment on the part of the Church, with families and for families, so that the Creator's original plan for man and woman may be implemented and may operate in all its beauty and strength in today's world”.

In this sense, the reading of the Book of Genesis on complementarity and reciprocity between the man and woman who unite and become one flesh, “that is, one life, one existence”, and in this way “transmit their life to new human beings: they become parents. They participate in the creative power of God Himself. But”, he warned, “be careful! God is love, and one participates in His work when one loves with and like Him. … And this is also the love that is given to spouses in the Sacrament of marriage. It is the love that nurtures their relationship, through joy and suffering, in moments of serenity and difficulty. It is the love that awakens the desire to create children, to wait for them, welcome them, raise them and educate them. It is the same love that, in today's Gospel, Jesus reveals to the children: 'Let the children come to me, do not prevent them'.

“Today we ask the Lord that all parents and educators in the world, as in society as a whole, are made instruments of that acceptance and love with which Jesus embraces the little ones. He looks into their hearts with the tenderness and care of a father and, at the same time, a mother. I think of so many children that are hungry, abandoned, exploited, forced into the war, refused. It is painful to see images of children that are unhappy, looking lost, fleeing from poverty and conflicts. They are knocking on our doors and our hearts begging for help. May the Lord help us not to be a 'fortress-society,' but rather a 'family-society' which welcomes – with the proper rules -but always welcomes with love”.

The Pope concluded by invoking the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the Synod Fathers and the intercession of the Virgin Mary, uniting with those who today, Italian Shrine of Pompeii, pray the traditional supplication to the Our Lady of the Rosary.

Following the Angelus, Francis mentioned the beatification yesterday in Santander, Spain, of Pio Heredia and seventeen companions of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance of St. Bernard, killed in hatred of the faith during the Spanish civil war and the religious persecution of the 1930s. “Let us praise the Lord for their courageous witness, and with their intercession, let us beg that He liberate the world from the scourge of war”.

He prayed for the victims of a landslide that swept away an entire village in Guatemala, and of the flood in the Cote d'Azur in France, and urged concrete acts of solidarity in their support. He also affectionately greeted Italian pilgrims on the feast day of the their patron, St. Francis of Assisi.

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