18 May 2020
St. John Paul II

A hymn to life

On the centenary of his birth, Undersecretary Gambino highlights the relevance of Pope Wojtyła’s message on family and life

“The Magisterium of St. John Paul II—with his letter to children, his letter to women, his unforgettable catechesis on human love and marriage, and on the indispensable role of fathers and mothers—was a hymn to life, to the motherhood of every woman, and to the generative task of families and indeed of every human person who says ‘yes’ to their own vocation. And it is this sense of vocation which we still must appeal to today, so that our children and young people may flourish.”

And so Undersecretary Gabriella Gambino reflects on the centenary of the birth of St. John Paul II, which takes place today, in a video message put out by Vatican News. She emphasizes “This comes at a very special time of year: a few days from the International Day of Families celebrated by the United Nations, and in the month dedicated to Mary who, in the exhortation Familiaris Consortio, St. John Paul II proclaimed the ‘Mother of the domestic Church.’”

The Undersecretary goes on to highlight the “extraordinary intuition” which led Pope Wojtyła to institute the World Meeting of Families, and she emphasizes the relevance of the exhortation Familiaris Consortio for its message, which is “continually reiterated by Pope Francis when he reminds us that Christian families are not called to present an abstract and unattainable ideal, but rather to always give a direct witness to the grace of God through our daily life—with each day’s struggles, pains, joys, and triumphs, of which the wedding rings are a sign and symbol.”

Finally, she notes the power of the sacrament: “The Christian family carries within itself the sign of God. This is part of the inheritance that St. John Paul II has left us. We have the privilege of being able to collect on its returns for the Christian family of today’s world—which is, as John Paul II has said, so often tempted by despair, and anguished by difficulties and a lack of self-confidence—in its mission which God had entrusted to it.”

The text of the video message was taken up in a special issue of the Osservatore Romano, which contextually presented the new app for reading the newspaper.