VATICAN, The Opoe Video •
The Pope Video for June has just been released with the prayer intention that Francis is entrusting to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. This month, the Holy Father prays “for Christian families around the world; may they embody and experience unconditional love and advance in holiness in their daily lives.” —
The family at the center
After having dedicated the May video to young people, the three-month Pope Video series about the family continues, created by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network in collaboration with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. In addition, this month’s prayer intention coincides with the celebration of the World Meeting of Families on June 22-26 in Rome. This event will close a year dedicated to meditating on the family on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia.
The family in crisis?
For years now it has seemed that the family is in a permanent crisis. For this reason, it’s important we take care of our own family in its concrete circumstances. In fact, the family continues to be the main source of meaning in the lives of many people. This is a conclusion of a Pew Research Center survey carried out in 2021, which asked people what gives meaning to their life; participants mentioned their family first, ahead of their professional career, material well-being, or health.
The family as a path of holiness
“Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect family. But that doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t be afraid of mistakes; we have to learn from them,” the Pope says. He reminds us that, in addition to its great human value, the family is also valuable from a faith perspective: “Family love is a personal path of holiness for each one of us.” Thus, faith offers us motives and encouragement to protect the institution of the family. “Let’s not forget that God is with us: in our family, in our neighborhood, in the city where we live, he is with us. And He takes care of us. He remains with us at all times in the swaying of the boat tossed by the sea: when we argue, when we suffer, and when we’re joyful,” Francis says.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, spoke about families that grow on the path of holiness: “Amoris laetitia reminds us that perfect families don’t exist, and we must not fear difficulties. All families have worries and sufferings, but also joys and hopes. Loving relationships between spouses, parents, children, and grandparents are what become paths of holiness, made of simple daily gestures, which take little to make ordinary moments extraordinary.”
Fr. Frédéric Fornos, S.J., International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, commented on this intention: “Francis reminds us that the family is the place where we learn to live with differences, with those who are younger and those who are older. Encountering people who are different is a richness, not a threat. In today’s world it seems as if differences create confrontation when they should instead open new paths. The family is a place to learn to love, to live with differences, learning from mistakes, being aware that the Lord is present to help and accompany us. This experience of God’s presence is born from prayer; this is why it is important to pray for this intention of the Pope.”