Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "May the next Synod of Bishops reawaken in all, awareness of the sacred and inviolable nature of the family" and "may our families never more experience
violence, isolation, and division." There are two passages of a prayer for the Synod, which Pope Francis is asking everyone to pray for between now and October, when the Synod will be celebrated.
The Holy Father recited this prayer along with more than 20 thousand people present at the general audience.
At the end of the audience the Pope again appealed "that not the logic of profit not prevail, but that of solidarity and justice". "When you cannot earn a wage - he added - you lose your dignity! This is the drama of our time".
Today's audience, as Francis himself mentioned, was held in two parts, "as we do when it rains", in the Paul VI Hall for the sick and in St Peter's Square for the others and was "a pause for prayer" on the "journey of catechesis on the family. "
The Pope stressed that today, March 25, the Church celebrates the Annunciation - and Francis invited those present to recite the Hail Mary with him – on the day on which, 20 years ago, John Paul II signed the encyclical Evangelium vitae in which "the family is central, as it is the womb of human life". "To commemorate this anniversary - he added - many members of the Movement for Life are present in the square".
“The words of my venerable Predecessor remind us that the human couple was blessed by God from the beginning to form a community of love and life, to which He entrusted the mission of procreation. Christian spouses, celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony, open themselves to honour this benediction, with the grace of God, for all of life. The Church, for her part, is solemnly committed to the care of the family that results from it, as a gift of God for her own life, in good fortune and in bad: the bond between the Church and the family is sacred and inviolable. The Church, as a mother, never abandons the family, even when it is disheartened, wounded, and mortified in so many ways; it will always do everything to seek to cure and heal it, to invite it to conversion and to reconcile it with the Lord”.
“So then, if this is the task, it appears clear how much prayer the Church needs in order to be up to fulfilling this mission at all times! A prayer full of love for the family and for life. A prayer that knows how to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to suffer with those who suffer”.
“So here is what I, with my collaborators, have thought to propose today: to renew the prayer for the Synod of the Bishops on the family. We are taking up this commitment again next October, when the ordinary Assembly of the Synod, dedicated to the family, will take place. I would like for this prayer, and the whole Synod journey, to be animated by the compassion of the Good Shepherd for His flock, especially for persons and families that, for different reasons, are “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36). So, sustained and animated by the grace of God, the Church can be ever more committed, and ever more united, in the witness of the truth of the love of God and of His mercy for the families of the world, excluding none, whether within or outside the flock. I ask you, please, to not neglect your prayer”.
“All of us – the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious, lay faithful – we are all called to pray for the Synod. There is need of this, not of chatter! I also invite those who feel far away, or who are not accustomed to do so, to pray. This prayer for the Synod on the Family is for the good of everyone. I know that this morning you were given a little prayer card, which you have in your hands. It might be a little wet. I invite you to hold on to it and keep it with you, so that in the coming months you can recite it often, with holy insistence, as Jesus has asked us. Now, let us say it together:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
In you we contemplate
The splendour of true love,
We turn to you with confidence.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
Make our families, also,
Places of communion and cenacles of prayer,
Authentic schools of the Gospel,
And little domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth
May our families never more experience
Violence, isolation, and division:
May anyone who was wounded or scandalized
Rapidly experience consolation and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
May the upcoming Synod of Bishops
Re-awaken in all an awareness
Of the sacred character and inviolability of the family,
Its beauty in the project of God.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Hear and answer our prayer. Amen”.
Finally, in greeting a group of workers from Vibo Valentia province among Italian pilgrims, "who are experiencing a severe economic situation", the Pope addressed "a heartfelt appeal that the logic of profit does not prevail, but that of solidarity and justice. No to the logic of profit, yes to the logic of solidarity and justice! The person and his dignity, must be placed at the center of every concern, especially that of work, access to work is a matter of justice, it is an injustice not to have work. When you do not earn a living, you lose your dignity! This is the drama of our time, especially for young people, who, without work, have no prospects for the future and can become easy prey for criminal organizations. Please, we must battle for this: justice in work. We must battle for this ".