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Rome Reports

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Young couple agree with pope on marriage vocations “spouses must be courageous”

What began with a chance encounter at the same table at a church retreat by Fr. Fabio Rossini in Rome, sparked a love that propelled these two young Italians to get married.

With the October Synod highlighting vocations, marriage is the most common vocation for young people. Yet, marriage rates are dropping, especially in Italy. From 2009 to 2014, there was an 18 percent decline in weddings, showing up largely in the north of the country, with one religious wedding per year per 1,000 people.  

“It has to be a decision. It's not a naturally easy, simple thing. Above all, the pope is very keen on this and I am convinced that he is right - spouses must be courageous. Because it is a choice that must be constantly renewed and encouraged always.”

It's a courageous step, as Pope Francis says, and he even told them in person at the Vatican, when the two met him along with other couples at the General Audience.

“We were fortunate to find ourselves face to face with the Holy Father. We gave him a picture of our wedding; we were married June 1. The Holy Father was happy to receive it and very surprised. He told us to be courageous. It was a very beautiful moment.”

“We thought we would bring him our prayer, our encouragement. Instead it was him who encouraged us. To see how strong he was and how much he cares, he made us feel like an important part in the Church. It was very nice."

Both say that in their short time of being married, they've already learned quite a bit. Irene has learned to follow the desire the Lord placed in her heart and Domenico has learned the importance of humor in marriage. 

"Trust in that message, that desire that the Lord puts in you heart. Then you can understand that you are called to live that life, to aspire to that path and stay with that person. Trust what the Lord puts in your heart. Never let that desire die down or be extinguished.”

“Accept the defects of the other and laugh at yourself. It's one of the most important things. Truly, to laugh and joke amongst yourselves is very important.”

In only five months, these two have already learned so much about sacrificial love, but they have a lifetime to perfect it.