Vatican City, Oct 5, 2014 / 12:55 pm
"In order for the family to proceed well, with faith and hope," said Pope Francis to crowds in St. Peter's Square for the weekly Angelus address, "it needs to be nourished by the Word of God."
Helping to illustrate the Holy Father's words, all the pilgrims gathered in the Square had the opportunity to take home a copy of the Bible, courtesy of the Pauline Brothers who this year are celebrating the centenary of their foundation.
The Bible, he said, is not meant to be kept on a shelf, but rather carried, "read often, every day, be it alone or together, husband and wife, parents and children, perhaps in the evening, especially on Sunday."
In this way, he said, "the family grows, walks, with the light and strength of the Word of God!"
Delivering his Angelus address following the inaugural Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Pastoral Challenges on the Family in the Context of Evangelization, the Pope emphasized the importance of there being "a Bible for every family!"
Recalling the images conveyed in the readings for the day, Pope Francis said that, "like a vineyard," people need to be cared for, and require a love that is "patient and faithful." Just as God takes care of his people, the Pope said, "we pastors are also called to do."
Care for the family is also a "way of working in the vineyard of the Lord, because it produces fruits for the Kingdom of God," the Pope said.
Just before leading the faithful in praying the Angelus in Latin, the Holy Father invited everyone to support those involved in the Synod on the Family, particularly by invoking the "maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary."
After reciting the Angelus, Pope Francis recalled that on Saturday, Oct. 4, Sr. Maria Teresa Demjanovich of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth was beatified. He offered his thanks to God for "this faithful disciple of Christ," who led an "intense spiritual life."
Pope Francis went on to welcome the various pilgrims in the Square this Sunday, including a group of cyclists from Milan, who had come in honor of the wife and mother, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. As witnesses for the Gospel of Life, he said, he encouraged them to "continue in their initiatives for solidarity" on behalf of the "most defenseless".
Finally, the Pope reminded the faithful once again to pray to Our Lady for the intentions of the Synod on the Family.