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Pope Francis at General Audience: Honor your parents who gave you life

During his weekly catechesis, Pope Francis continued to explain the Ten commandments. This time focusing on the command to “Honor your father and your mother.” 

He stated the importance of showing respect to one's parents, who brought us in to the world, despite there possible limitations and shortcomings. He used the example of the saints who despite their “past hurts” God's grace can heal and make a better future. 

The pope also stressed that Our Lord offers the possibility to everyone of being “born anew and to enjoy life.” He invited the people to honor their parents with gratitude for the life they have given us, “which finds its fulfillment in the glorious freedom of the children of God.”


Dear brothers and sisters:

In our continuing catechesis on the Ten Commandments, we now turn to the fourth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother.” 

In the version of the Decalogue found in the Book of Deuteronomy, this command is followed by the promise of a long and happy life. We know how important the experience of good upbringing is for our later life, as well as the fact that not all parents are perfect. 

The fourth commandment bids us respect those who brought us into the world, despite their own limitations and the shortcomings of our childhood or home situation. When we look to the saints who suffered in their early years, we see that whatever our past hurts, God’s grace can bring not only healing but strength to change and to build a constructive future. 

God has a plan for our life. He is our heavenly Father, who through the death and resurrection of his Son offers us the possibility of being born anew and to enjoy life in abundance. In this light, we can honor our parents with gratitude for the gift of life they gave us, which finds its fulfilment in the glorious freedom of the children of God.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. I thank the choirs from Indonesia and Australia for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!