Pope recalls the 'inspiring witness' of Milan family gathering
During his visit to Milan, Pope Benedict XVI meets with young people at the San Siro Stadium. Credit: World Meeting of Families 2012/CNA.
During his visit to Milan, Pope Benedict XVI meets with young people at the San Siro Stadium. Credit: World Meeting of Families 2012/CNA.
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Benedict XVI says he saw an “inspiring witness” during his three-day apostolic visit to the June 1-3 World Meeting of Families in Milan.

“This joyful international gathering was an inspiring witness to the rich and varied identity of the family as a communion of love based on marriage, a sanctuary of life, a domestic church and the primary cell of society,” he told pilgrims at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square on June 6.

The international gathering in Milan brought together families from over 150 countries to the northern Italian city to pray, celebrate and study marriage and family life. The theme for this year’s event was “The Family: Work and Celebration.”
“It is in the family that we discover our God-given vocation to love, to enter into relationship with others and to live together in harmony,” Pope Benedict reminded those at today’s audience.

It is customary for the Pope to use his first general audience following an apostolic journey to reflect on his visit.

He recalled how on his first evening in Milan’s historic cathedral square he challenged the people of the city “to live the faith as part of their individual and community experience,” and in doing so, “create a stable and authentic ‘well-being’ on the basis of the family, which must be rediscovered as mankind's most important heritage.”

Later that evening the Pope attended a concert in his honor at the famous Scala Theater, where “the notes of Beethoven’s ninth symphony expressed that aspiration to universality and fraternity which the Church tirelessly seeks by announcing the Gospel.”
The choral symphony, which concludes with the famous “Ode to Joy,” was performed by the theater’s orchestra and chorus under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.
At the end of the concert, the Pope said he told theatergoers that the family is where “we first experience how human beings are not created to live closed in themselves, but in relation with others.”
The following day Pope Benedict met with priests, religious and seminarians at Milan’s cathedral and reaffirmed“the importance of celibacy and consecrated virginity, which was to dear to the great St. Ambrose,” the 4th-century bishop of the city.

“These are a luminous sign of love for God and for our brothers and sisters, founded on an increasingly intimate relationship with Christ in prayer and expressed in the total gift of self,” he said.

Meanwhile, at Milan’s San Siro soccer stadium, the Pope challenged thousands of young people “to say their free and responsible ‘yes’ to the Gospel of Jesus.”

The youthful group consisted of those from the archdiocese who had just received the sacrament of Confirmation as well as those about to receive it.

Pope Benedict urged them to “welcome the gifts of the Holy Spirit which mold them as Christians and enable them to live the gospel and to be active members of the community.”

At a subsequent meeting with representatives of civil society, the Pope explained that he called on lawmakers to ensure that “the legislation and activities of state institutions” are always at the service of individuals.
This begins, he said, with the right to life, but should also include upholding the “specific identity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman.”

Later on Saturday evening Pope Benedict led a “Celebration to Witness” at Milan’s Bresso Park, where he responded to various questions put to him by families.

“I wanted to provide a sign of the open dialogue that exists between families and the Church, between the world and the Church,” he said as he reviewed the event.
The Pope said he was “greatly struck by the moving testimonies of couples and children from different continents on the important issues of our day.”

The following morning he returned to Bresso Park to preside over Sunday Mass with 1 million pilgrims, thus transforming the area “into a kind of open-air cathedral” for the day.
At the Mass, he called on those present “to build ecclesial communities increasingly similar to families” and so capable of “reflecting the beauty of the Blessed Trinity,” since “love is the only power that can transform the world.”

Before imparting his apostolic blessing upon the crowds in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict prayed that “the experience of Milan (will) bring abundant fruits to the Church and favor increased attention to the cause of the family, which is the cause of man and of civilization.”

Tags: Pope Benedict, General audience, World Meeting of Families

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30