Make Home a Virtue School, Pontiff Tells Families

Urges Them to Be Servants of Love

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 6, 2011 ( Benedict XVI is encouraging Christian families to make their homes a nursery of virtues.

The Pope said this last Sunday before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. After a reflection on St. John given in Italian, the Holy Father spoke in Spanish to those who had gathered in Madrid to «celebrate joyfully the value of marriage and the family, on the theme: ‘The Christian family, hope for Europe.'»

«Dear brothers and sisters,» the Holy Father told them, «I ask you to be strong in love and to contemplate with humility the mystery of Christmas that continues to speak to the heart and to become a school of family and fraternal life. The motherly gaze of the Virgin Mary, the loving protection of St. Joseph and the sweet presence of the Baby Jesus are a clear image of what every Christian family must be: an authentic sanctuary of fidelity, respect and understanding in which faith is passed on, hope is strengthened and love is kindled.»

The Pontiff encouraged the families to live their Christian vocations with «renewed enthusiasm, as genuine servants of the love that welcomes, accompanies and protects life.»

«Make your home a real nursery of virtues and a serene and luminous place of trust, in which, guided by God’s grace, it is possible to discern wisely the call of the Lord who continues to invite people to follow him,» Benedict XVI encouraged them.

He commended the Madrid event to the Holy Family of Nazareth, with the prayer that «there may be an increasing number of families in which joy, mutual giving and generosity hold sway.»

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