This Sunday, October 4th, bishops from all over the world will meet in Rome to discuss the challenges faced by the family. It's a topic Pope Francis has analyzed quite a bit, from the Vatican to Ecuador and Philadelphia. He has described the power of the family in five main building blocks.
"The family is like a school, where prayer reminds us that we are part of a community. It reminds us of our close neighbor, an obvious presence, who lives under our same roof. A neighbor who also lives this life and needs help.”
Secondly, the Pope has highlighted the great support families give to loved ones who suffer from a physical or mental illness.
"The Family is one's closest hospital. When someone is sick, they can be cared for within the family.”
It's a situation that also comes to life, when an elderly person, a grandmother or grandfather needs to be cared for.
"It is the best asylum for the elderly. The family constitutes a great social resource that other institutions cannot replace. The family must be helped and enhanced.”
Even further than the metaphors of schools, hospitals and asylums, the Pope believes the family is the one ideal nucleus to foster the Christian faith.
4) Domestic church
"The family is also like a small Church. A so called 'domestic church.' Through life, it channels divine tenderness and mercy. In the family, faith is mixed in with a mother's milk. When feeling the love of one's parents, one also feels closer to God's love.”
Last but not least, Pope Francis has also described the strength of the family as a factory that's never stops.
"That's why families are, excuse my expression, they are factories of hope. Factories of hope, life and resurrection. God Himself opened this journey.”