It was a vigil to pray for the Synod on the Family, in St. Peter's Square, right in the heart of Christianity. Many married couples spoke before Pope Francis sharing their experience in family life and as a married couple.
After listening to their testimonies, Pope Francis called on Synod participants to not only understand the challenges families go through, but to develop solutions that can help them.
"May the Synod recognize, value and highlight all the good, beauty and Holy aspects of the family. May it embrace all vulnerable situations that test the family.”
Even though the family faces a list of challenges, the Pope described the value of the family, as immeasurable.
"Every single family, despite its weaknesses, is always a light, amid the darkness of the world.”
In his Sunday homily, the Pope talked about some of the problems modern day families face, highlighting that the mission of the Church is to walk along with these families.
"To defend loyal love and to encourage all those families who live their marriage, while leaving room for the divine. To defend the holiness of life, of all lives. To defend the unity and indissolubility of this conjugal bond, as a symbol of God's grace-the capacity for men and women to truly love.”
The Church must show mercy and understanding, said the Pope, not condemnation. A Church that's closed in on itself, he added, is not carrying out its mission.
"A Church that keeps its doors closed, betrays itself and its mission, instead of being a bridge it turns into a barrier.”
Once again he highlighted that the Church should be a hospital for the wounded and with open doors to those who seek help and support.