Vatican City (AsiaNews) Cultural and political leaders should defend the family based on marriage, this according to Pope John Paul II.
Speaking before the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square on the day that the Church celebrates the Holy Family, the Pope dedicated his thoughts during the Angelus to the family, especially to those families in difficulty.
"Today," the Pontiff said, "the day of St Stephen gives way to the Holy Family. The Son of God is preparing for his mission of redemption living by hard work and hidden away in the Holy House in Nazareth.
This way, He, joined to every other human through His incarnation (cf Gaudium et spes, 22), sanctifies the human family.
"May the Holy Family, which had to overcome many painful trials, protect all the families of the world, especially those living in difficult circumstances.
"May the Holy Family help cultural and political leaders defend the institution of the family which is based on marriage and help it face the serious challenges of today.
"In this 'Year of the Eucharist', may the Christian family find once more the light and strength to walk united and grow like 'a domestic church', especially by assiduously partaking in the Sunday Eucharist (Lumen gentium, 11). Mary, Queen of the family, pray for us!"