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Meet the three month old baby who has turned into the 'Synod's Mascot'

2015-10-10

It's official. The youngest participant in the Synod of Bishops is named Davide. He has the attention of everyone in and outside the Vatican. 

FR. MANUEL DORANTES
Vatican Press Office
"All eyes are constantly on Davide. Everyone wants to take a picture with him. It reflects the kind and affectionate side of the Synod.”

His name is Davide Paloni. A three month old baby who is the youngest of 12 siblings. His parents, Massimo and Patrizia are among the married couples taking part in the Synod on the Family. The little boy was even welcomed personally by Pope Francis. 

PATRIZIA PALONI
Auditor, Synod of the Family
"The Pope was happy about it. In fact, he told us: 'I don't think he's on the Synod list.' He's has softened the hearts of Cardinals and Bishops who walked up to him and blessed him. So, I hope he becomes a holy boy.” 

This married couple is sharing its experience on family life with Bishops. They say Pope Paul VI played a major role in their lives through his encyclical, Humanae Vitae

PATRIZIA PALONI
Auditor, Synod of the Family
"We are very grateful for the teachings of Paul VI. I was very young, I was just 24 when I was expecting my third child and people would tell us: 'Stop, you need to be responsible.' Now, I look at a photograph of my 12 children and I ask, 'So which one of them, shouldn't have existed? You can't answer that.”

For the past 11 years this couple has lived in Holland where they serve as Catholic missionaries from the Neocatecumenal Way. They have of course experienced highs and lows, but they say their Christian faith and the support of other families has been key in helping them overcome challenges. 

MASSIMO PALONI
Auditor, Synod of the Family
"The help of our community has been enormous in overcoming life's challenges. The best thing is that they are normal couples, just like us, helping other average families.”

Even though they live away from their native Italy, they say their faith helps them live out their family life in Holland, despite the different culture and language. 

PATRIZIA PALONI
Auditor, Synod of the Family
"Joy and happiness are meant to be shared. This is definitely our experience.”

So, this couple reflects one of the challenges the Synod is trying to overcome—not only teaching the faith, but actually reflecting the beauty of it within married couples

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