Pope Francis has often expressed his concern for the urgent pastoral needs of families in today's society. Underscoring that deep love and concern for the family, the Pope has spent many months speaking on this subject in his weekly Wednesday audience talks. This book is a collection of all of those talks about the family from Dec. 17, 2014 to Sept. 16, 2015.
The Pope covers a wide variety of important subjects directly related to family life, speaking in his personal style that offers wisdom and practical insights for the modern family. His words are for families in general, and also directed to the important roles of all those specific persons who make up family life – husbands, wives, parents, children and grandparents. He emphasizes the deep crisis that the family and marriage are undergoing in the Western world, and says that the family is "a new mission field for the Church." He challenges families today to be witnesses to the world of love, fidelity, and service.
Some of the specific topics his talks address include: the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth; transmitting the faith; educating the children; family prayer; complementarity of male and female; celebration in family life; mercy and forgiveness; dealing with illness and death; learning the value of work; poverty and economic struggles; evangelizing the culture, and much more.
Throughout his addresses, the Holy Father especially emphasizes the primary role of God and faith in family life, and the crucial importance of regular family prayer to draw on God's grace for strength, love, joy and unity within the home.
"The true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, from the fact that everything seems to be going well. . . . True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts."
– Pope Francis
Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio), is the first Jesuit and the first Latin American to be elected to the chair of Peter. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. He served as head of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he became the archbishop of Buenos Aires and, in 2001, a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on February 28, 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.