Women, the driving force of holiness in the family

Prof. Gabriella Gambino's presentation at the March 8 celebration "Women in the Church: Builders of Humanity" at the Pontifical Urbaniana University


«It is precisely within the framework of marital relationships that in the Church’s recent history some women have distinguished themselves, becoming the driving force behind a contagious holiness within their families». With these words, Prof. Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, spoke at the Urbaniana with a presentation on the theme "Holiness and the Family."  In her remarks, she wanted to go a step further with respect to the more traditional thought on holiness as an individual call, by speaking about the "holiness of spouses and of women, and particularly, in their specific vocation of marriage and family, as spouse and mother. Women are not alone, rather in a fully complementary and mutual relationship with their spouses, capable of bringing out the power of the marital sacrament in the eyes of the Church. Who knows how many women, passionate and in love with their sponsal vocation, their educational role and their motherhood walk a daily path of holiness alongside their man, often together, in a mutual relationship, but increasingly also alone, in social contexts where often there is no father figure." Prof. Gambino also called attention upon the holiness of so many mothers, which emerges in the everyday life of our homes, "even in those that today are devastated by war. Destroyed homes, amidst whose rubble courageous mothers, anchored by an unshakable faith, strive to protect the little ones, the elderly and the sick and, with solidarity, to rebuild the hope of a return to peace. Women who in the midst of so much devastation and death understand, like beacons of light in the dark, that even in despair, we must seek that which does not die."

In his opening greeting, the Rector of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Fr. Leonardo Sileo, presented the theme on feminine holiness by recalling the Holy Father's words on mind, heart and hands: three intelligences and three languages that bear fruit when they resonate together.

María del Rosario Sáez Yuguero, Rector of the Catholic University of Avila, pointed out how topical the example of the holy women Doctors of the Church and Patronesses of Europe are, while the Pro-Prefect of the Section for Fundamental Issues of Evangelization in the World of the Dicastery for Evangelization, H.E. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, addressed the topic "Holiness and the Jubilee of 2025."

The theme "Feminine Holiness in the Church" was addressed by the Secretary of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, H.E. Msgr. Fabio Fabene, and "Feminine Holiness and Education" of which Antonella Sciarrone Alibrandi, Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, spoke, recalling the figure of Armida Barelli.

Upon the conclusion of the event, the Vice-Rector of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Cristina Reyes, presented that which will be the next International Conference, "Women in the Church: Makers of Mankind", which will be held on March 7 and 8, 2024.

The commemorative day was organized by several Pontifical Universities and the Catholic University of Ávila (UCAV), with the support of the Dicasteries for the Causes of Saints, for Culture and Education, and for Evangelization.

See the entire meeting.

10 March 2023
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