Today the Pope received participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples to reflect upon the theme: "The emigrant and itinerant family." He called on them to continue caring for migrant families, but also used the opportunity to emphasize the importance of marriage and family.
While reaffirming that the Church's care for “emigrant families does not diminish her concern for itinerant families," he also stressed that all families “represent the original cell of society” and it “must not be destroyed but courageously and patiently defended.” This must be done because the family is where “we are formed to adore and love God, learning the grammar of human and moral values, and discovering how to make good use of freedom in truth,” the Pope said. He also acknowledged that this is not an easy task, especially “in cases of people affected by the phenomenon of human mobility.”
Pope Benedict then turned his attention to the "profound bond" between the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Marriage. In particular, he focused on how the Sacrament of Marriage takes place at the heart of the celebration of the Eucharist. Couples, the Pontiff said, “must draw inspiration for their behavior from the example of Christ Who 'loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.'"
"This supreme gesture of love is presented anew in each celebration of the Eucharist; and it is appropriate for the pastoral care of families to refer back to this sacramental fact as a reference point of fundamental importance,” explained the Pontiff.
"People who go to Mass …find in the Eucharist a powerful allusion to their own family, their own marriage; and they are encouraged to live their lives from the point of view of faith, seeking in divine grace the strength to succeed," the Pope underscored.
The Holy Father concluded by pointing out that "human mobility represents, in today's globalized world, an important frontier for new evangelization." In this regard, he encouraged the members and consultors of the pontifical council "to continue your pastoral commitment with renewed zeal."