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Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, the Prefect of the Dicastery, explained: “Praying is a way to enter into the heart of the Amoris Laetitia Year and the preparation for the event in Rome. Many families and many communities”, he continued, “have been waiting for a long time to be able to make their way, at least spiritually, to Rome. Prayer will accompany them and help them to grasp the message of the meeting”.

“Prayer will be at the centre of the preparatory journey, guiding the work and inspiring the reflections so as to discern, in the light of faith, the new challenges that the pandemic emergency poses to the ecclesial community with regard to families”, added Cardinal Vicar Angelo De Donatis. For this reason, “I invite everyone to prepare for this event of grace that the Church of Rome has the joy of hosting, addressing this prayer to the Lord in the privacy of their own family, together with the parish and diocesan community”.

Family Love: Vocation and Path to Holiness

Heavenly Father, We come before You to praise You and to thank You for the great gift of the family...

The prayer, composed for the 10th World Meeting of Families, comes from a deep gratitude to the Heavenly Father for the great gift of the family, a special place of relationships of love and prayer, as also shown by the experience of the pandemic. The text draws inspiration from the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the meeting: “Family Love: a Vocation and a Path to Holiness”. The prayer has been created as a pastoral tool: it can be recited from now on in parishes, in communities or at home to prepare for next year’s international event.

“It is from the love experienced in family life that the vocation of every child is born; it is love savoured within the domestic walls that traces the first steps on the path to holiness”, added Cardinal Farrell. “The experience of prayer introduces us to the deep, liberating meaning of relationships in daily life. The combination of family and vocation together with family and holiness show us how family relationships are of fundamental importance in creating love. In an age of trials and tribulations, where families live and face challenges and difficulties, it might seem out-of-touch or inappropriate to talk about family holiness. Hence the importance of prayer in living the sacrament of marriage to the full. Indeed, the relationship with God enables Christian couples to rekindle every day the Grace they have received, and this sustains them in their daily struggles and difficulties. Our life can always be a path to personal, family and couple holiness, a way to grow in love for others. All members of the family, including children, young people, parents, and grandparents, are called to discover in themselves a call to holiness. In this sense, family life can become an expression of the “most attractive face of the Church” (GE 9). This shows us how useful it is to cross-reference Amoris Laetitia and Gaudete et Exsultate, as Pope Francis suggests in the theme of the meeting, in order to fully understand the vocation of the family”.

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