During the Regina Caeli prayer following the Mass celebrated at the Marian shrine of Aparecida in Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI said that the family stands at the heart of the Church.
The same day in which the 4th Congress of Families was being closed in Warsaw (Poland,) and one day after Italians held a massive “Family Day” in Rome to protect families from controversial legislation, Pope Benedict greeted the English-speaking groups present at Aparecida with words of encouragement of family life.
“Families stand at the heart of the Church’s mission of evangelization, for it is in the home that our life of faith is first expressed and nurtured.” “Parents,” he said, “you are the primary witnesses to your children of the truths and values of our faith: pray with and for your children; teach them by your example of fidelity and joy!”
“Indeed,” the Pope continued, “every disciple, spurred on by word and strengthened by sacrament, is called to mission. It is a duty from which no one should shy away, for nothing is more beautiful than to know Christ and to make him known to others! May Our Lady of Guadalupe be your model and guide. God bless you all!”
During the praying of the Regina Caeli the Pope recalled the ninetieth anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. “With their powerful call to conversion and penance,” he said, “they are without doubt the most prophetic of all modern apparitions. Let us ask the Mother of the Church, who knows the sufferings and hopes of humanity, to protect our homes and our communities.”