With the summer heat kicking off in Rome, Pope Francis started off his general audience by making a few rounds in St. Peter's Square in the popemobile.
He greeted the crowds and blessed several babies along the way.
In his catechesis, the Pope reflected on families that deal with the illness of a loved one. He said families are in essence, the first hospitals, showing heroism on a daily basis.
"We've all seen it. A man or a woman with a tired face and tired posture. When asked, 'What happened?' They say, 'I only slept two hours because we take turns at home to look after our boy, girl, an ill person, grandpa, grandma.' Then, they continue their day at work. This is heroism. It's family heroism. It's a heroism that's hidden.”
Even with the deep sorrow of seeing a loved one suffer, a window is opened, said the Pope, to strengthen one's heart, faith and soul, even amid the pain.
"When dealing with an illness, even within families, challenges come about because of human weakness. But in general, an illness can make the family bond grow stronger.”
The Pope then added that children should be taught early on, to show solidarity when their family deals with a sickness, so in the future, they don't become numb before the suffering of others.
"I think of how important it is to educate children early on, to show solidarity before an illness. An education that ignores the sensibility for human illness hardness the heart.”
The Pope then concluded by saying that caring for a loved one, even when overwhelmed and tired, is a reflection of God's presence.