Pope At General Audience: Synod of Bishops Needs Prayers, Not Gossip

Leads Faithful in Prayer for Synod on the Family in October

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Pope Francis called on the faithful to join in prayers for the Synod of the Family in October

Despite heavy rains in Rome this morning, thousands gathered in St. Peter to listen to the Holy Father. «Good morning but it is not a pretty day,» the Pope said regarding the weather. He then asked the faithful to give a round of applause for the sick and disabled who were watching the audience from a big screen at the Paul VI audience hall.

The Pope said that he would «pause for prayer» from his catechesis on the family. The feast of the Annunciation, which the Church celebrates today, shows how «profound is the mystery of the Incarnation, as God wanted, which includes not only the conception in the womb of the mother, but also being welcomed in a true family.»

After leading the faithful in praying the Hail Mary, the Pope also noted that today is the World Day for Life and the 20th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium vitae  (The Gospel of Life).

«The words of my venerable Predecessor remind us that the human couple was blessed by God from the beginning to form a community of love and life, to which He entrusted the mission of procreation,» the Pope said. «Christian spouses, celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony, open themselves to honour this benediction, with the grace of God, for all of life.»

The Jesuit Pope went on to say that the Church is committed to the care of the family, saying that the bond between the Church and the family is «sacred and inviolable.»

«The Church, as a mother, never abandons the family, even when it is disheartened, wounded, and mortified in so many ways; it will always do everything to seek to cure and heal it, to invite it to conversion and to reconcile it with the Lord,» he said.

‘We Need Prayers, Not Gossip’

Pope Francis proposed that the Church once again renew prayers for the Synod of Bishops on the family, in order for the Church to «be animated by the compassion of the Good Shepherd.»

The Holy Father continued his appeal saying that the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful are called to pray for the Synod.

«There is need of this, not of gossip!» he exclaimed. «I also invite those who feel far away, or who are not accustomed to do so, to pray. This prayer for the Synod on the Family is for the good of everyone.»

Concluding his address, Pope Francis recited a prayer with the faithful, calling on them to recite it often for the Synod of Bishops.

Below is a translation of the prayer:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
In you we contemplate
The splendor of true love,
We turn to you with confidence.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
Make our families, also,
Places of communion and cenacles of prayer,
Authentic schools of the Gospel,
And little domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth
May our families never more experience
Violence, isolation, and division:
May anyone who was wounded or scandalized
Rapidly experience consolation and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
May the upcoming Synod of Bishops
Reawaken in all an awareness
Of the sacred character and inviolability of the family,
Its beauty in the project of God.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Hear and answer our prayer. Amen.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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