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Pope Francis: May this Synod “heal bleeding wounds and rekindle hope”

2014-10-06

On the day before the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, Pope Francis attended a prayer vigil organized by the Italian Bishops Conference. 

Thousands of families gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray for the work of the Synod and the Synod Fathers, who were also in attendance. They also listened to several families give their testimonies.

This family spoke on the joys and hardships they faced in their marriage, especially after separating for 6 years.

NICOLA & ANTONELLA
"We finally returned to live together, after so many years of separation and estrangement. Finally, reunited with Antonella and my family. Today, I feel confirmed and established in my vocation as a husband. I am completely happy. I am aware of the daily struggles and my limits. But with the help of Our Lord, I will take care of Antonella and our relationship every day”.

During his homily, the Pope reflected on the joys as well as the struggles families face. Despite today's individualistic culture, he said, there still remains the need for stability and sharing life with someone.

POPE FRANCIS
"The communion of life assumed by spouses, their openness to the gift of life, their mutual protection, the meeting and memory of the generations, the educational support, the transmission of the Christian faith to children … in all this the family continues to be the school of humanity without equal, indispensable contribution to a just and united society”.

Pope Francis said that in order to find what God asks of the Church, the Synod of Bishops must "perceive the odor” of the people today. 

He prayed that the Holy Spirit would grant them the gift of listening to God in this time.

POPE FRANCIS
"From the Holy Spirit we ask for the Synodal Fathers, first of all, the gift of listening: listening to God, until we hear with Him the cry of the people, until we breathe the will to which God ca.. Besides listening, "we invoke the willingness for a sincere discussion, open and fraternal, which leads us to take charge with pastoral responsibility of the questions that this change of time bears with it.”

The Pope also encouraged the Synod Fathers to keep their gazed fixed on Christ. Together with the prayers of the faithful, he said, the Synod becomes an occasion to renew the Church and society. 


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