After speaking today in Cuba about how necessary families are to save the future, Pope Francis invited all pregnant women in the audience and all those listening to him through the media to place their hands on their bellies and receive a papal blessing for themselves and their babies.
In the last of his public discourses on his four-day trip to Cuba, the Pope said that families are the answer for the future.
“Let us leave behind a world with families,” he said. “This is the best inheritance.”
And families don’t have to be perfect — “the perfect family does not exist; there are no perfect husbands and wives, perfect parents, perfect children,” he said, adding in jest that there is also no perfect mother-in-law, but “this does not prevent families from being the answer for the future.”
In this context, he said an image had come to his mind.
The Pope explained that during his public audiences on Wednesdays, as he passes through the crowds greeting people, many mothers gesture to their pregnant bellies and ask for a blessing for the child.
“I am going to suggest something: All you women who are pregnant with hope — because a child is hope — in this moment, place your hand on your belly,” he invited. “If there are pregnant women here, you do it, and those who are listening through radio or television. And to each of these women, to each boy or girl who is there inside waiting, I give my blessing. So each one, touch your belly, and I give you the blessing, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The Pope then expressed his hope that each of the unborn children would arrive healthy and grow up well. “Give a caress to the child that you are awaiting,” he said.
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