Pontiff to Parents: Keep Striving to Be a Model for Your Children

Says Kids See Face of True Love in Constancy, Sense of Duty

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TORRECIUDAD, Spain, SEPT. 19, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging parents not to give up in their efforts to be a reference point for their children.

The Pope said this in a message to the 22nd Marian Day of the Family, held Saturday in the shrine of Torreciudad, in the Spanish province of Huesca. Opus Dei cares for the shrine.

The Holy Father said that children need to discover the «face of true love» in «constancy and the sense of duty.»

He also exhorted families to «be a sign of hope in present-day society.»

Overcoming themselves

Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid and president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, presided over the event, which gathered some 16,000 people from across Spain.

In his homily, the cardinal said that «life is a most beautiful story, and at the same time a dramatic story, in which children must be taught to struggle, to overcome themselves, and to go forward overcoming the snares of evil.»

«Victory consists in holiness, man’s true vocation,» the cardinal affirmed.

The prelate reassured the families that «God is with man in an extraordinarily close, intimate and full way, so that the human being can make of the path of his life a path of salvation and glory.»

Yet, to discover that closeness, Cardinal Rouco Varela recalled, «it is necessary to take a first step of faith, to believe in Jesus Christ ‘firm in the faith,’ as Benedict XVI said to young people a few days ago.»

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