(Vatican Radio) An estimated 15 thousand people were in St Peter’s Square for the Pope’s General audience on Wednesday, as he continued his catechesis on the family, which this week focused on the importance of families in spreading the faith. The Holy Father underlined that by creating the foundations of a solid faith in the home, the fruits are revealed in a more humane society.
Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s report
The Pope said that the alliance of the family with God is called today to combat, what he called, the communal desertification of the modern city. He continued by saying that no political and economic policy can replace the contribution that families make to society, adding that we need to open up the love and warmth of the family to the city.
The Pope also explained that “Jesus, while affirming the primacy of faith in God, describes his disciples as brothers, sisters and mothers to him.” In the Christian life, he said, these family ties are transformed and enlarged; as spiritual fathers and mothers, as brothers and sisters to one another, and particularly to those in need, we bring the Father’s love to our world.
Within families, the Holy Father went on to say, faith becomes a powerful force for unity and love, and inspires a convincing witness to the Gospel.
Pope Francis prayed that like the wine of the wedding feast at Cana, may our families bring happiness, joy and the warmth of God’s love to our world.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) At time when people are experiencing trouble and conflict in many countries, Pope Francis at the end of his General Audience on Wednesday made a heartfelt appeal for peace. Recalling the end of Second World War in the Far East, the Holy Father prayed that the world would never again have to experience the horrors of “such tragedies”. Quoting the words of Blessed Pope Paul VI, “War never again”, he stressed, that this is also the permanent desire of those who are victims of conflicts and the anguished cry from the hearts of all men and women of good will to the Prince of Prince. (from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis congratulated a single mother on her decision to give birth to two daughters, telling her “Don’t be ashamed.”
The exchange took place during a video link-up on Monday with three different U.S. cities: Chicago, Los Angeles and McAllen, Texas arranged by ABC News.
A clip of Pope Francis’ conversation with single-mother Rosemary Farfan was released on Tuesday.
“It hasn’t been easy for me. I’ve made some mistakes as a person, as a mother,” she told the Pope.
“I’ve felt guilty at times and ashamed. … But every day, I try and I hope and I pray.”
Pope Francis told her he knew “it’s not easy” to be a single mother.
“I know that people can sometimes look askance at you,” the pope said. “You’re a brave woman because you’re capable of bringing these two daughters into the world. … You respected the life you were carrying inside you and God is going to reward you for that and he does reward for you for that. Don’t be ashamed. … I congratulate you.”
ABC News has said different parts of Pope Francis’ video-link up will be released each day until Friday, when the full encounter will air on a one-hour special edition of ABC News’ “20/20” at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
(from Vatican Radio)…