26 December 2021
Amoris Laetitia Family Year

Letter to Married Couples: an encouragement to live intensely the vocation to marriage

Pope Francis gives a letter to all married couples on the day of the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth
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On the day of the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth - and on the occasion of the "Amoris Laetitia Family" Year - the Holy Father Francis for the first time writes a Letter to Married Couples: a precious gift and an encouragement that comes at a difficult time for families around the world because of the continuing pandemic.

"In this “Amoris Laetitia Family” Year, I am writing to express my deep affection and closeness to you at this very special time. " the Pope writes. "The present situation has made me want to accompany with humility, affection and openness each individual, married couple and family in all those situations in which you find yourselves.”

Beginning with these words, Pope Francis, with the gaze and tenderness of a father, then expresses his encouragement to overcome together the difficulties due to the pandemic and any other kind of situation, inviting spouses and families to remain united, trusting in the grace that works in the family. Like Abraham, in fact, the Lord also calls spouses to "come out of their own land" and entrust themselves completely to Him in raising children, in family relationships, in their working life and in participating in the marriage ministry: a married couple - writes Francis - is never alone, because by virtue of the sacrament of marriage Christ is always with them and gives the strength, courage and creativity to overcome every obstacle and uncertainty.

Pope Francis does not forget those who, within marital relationships, suffer breakdowns, crises, conflicts: "Remember also that forgiveness heals every wound," writes the Holy Father, "Christ “dwells” in your marriage and he is always waiting for you to open your hearts to him, so that he can sustain you, as he did the disciples in the boat, by the power of his love.”  “With him, you can truly build your ‘house on rock’ ( Mt 7:24)”.

The Holy Father's Letter to Married Couples is an encouragement to live intensely the vocation to marriage. The family that results from it is a wealth and a gift for society and for the Church. For this reason, the Pope invites younger people not to be afraid to embark on this journey and older people to live their relationships with their grandchildren as a resource for society.