Pope Francis started off his weekly general audience in the popemobile, greeting crowds and blessing pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.
It was a windy morning, so the Pope had to fend off his mozzetta a few times, which kept getting in the way.
In his catechesis, the Pope focused on the importance of marriage and the family. Strong families, he explained, lead to strong societies.
"The family saves us from so many attacks, from destruction and from ideological colonizations, like money or ideologies that threaten the world. The family sets the foundation to defend itself.”
Part of that strength, said the Pope, comes from women—from their maternal instincts to the role they play within the family. The Pope then criticized popular narratives that describe women as those who trigger temptation and wrongdoing.
"There is the need for theology of women. A theology that will meet the high standard of this blessing for women and for future generations.”
Even though marriage and the family are facing challenges and at times are even ridiculed in modern society, the Pope said it's a foundation that should not be ignored.
He also called for Christians to show solidarity with believers and non believers.
"Without proselytizing. No! We should walk together and through this blessing and this mission God has given us, to be brothers and sisters, so the world can move forward.”
Given that on Saturday the Pope is traveling to Cuba and then to the US to lead the World Meeting of Families, he also asked everyone to keep him in their prayers.