July 2, 2006 to July 9, 2006



July 2, 2006:  St. Peter's Square

Let us commend to the Virgin Mary the success of the forthcoming great Valencia meeting, and of all the families of the world so that they will be genuine communities of love and life, in which the flame of faith is transmitted from generation to generation.

July 5, 2006: John, son of Zebedee

According to tradition, John is "the beloved disciple" mentioned in the fourth Gospel, who reclined next to the Lord at the Last Supper, stood with Mary at the foot of the cross and beheld the empty tomb. As such, he is a model for all believers, who are called to establish a deep personal friendship with Jesus. In the Eastern tradition, John is venerated as "the Theologian" for the depth of his religious and contemplative vision. By his prayers, may we more fully experience the mystery of the Father's love revealed in Christ, and respond by offering our lives ever more generously to him.

July 9, 2006:  Conclusion homily at the Mass of the 5th World Meeting of Families

Let us return for a moment to the first reading of this Mass, drawn from the Book of Esther. The Church at prayer has seen in this humble queen interceding with all her heart for her suffering people, a prefigurement of Mary, whom her Son has given to us all as our Mother; a prefigurement of the Mother who protects by her love God's family on its earthly pilgrimage. Mary is the image and model of all mothers, of their great mission to be guardians of life, of their mission to be teachers of the art of living and of the art of loving.

July 9, 2006:  Valencia-Manises international airport

In union with all taking part, I will implore from the Lord, through the intercession of our Most Holy Mother and the Apostle Saint James, plentiful graces for the families of Spain and of the whole world. May the Lord abundantly bless all of you and your beloved families!

July 9, 2006:  Vigil of the 5th World Meeting of Families

This Fifth World Meeting invites us to reflect on a theme of particular importance, one fraught with great responsibility: the transmission of faith in the family. This theme is nicely expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "As a mother who teacher her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith" (No. 171).

I now wish to recite a part of the prayer which you have prayed in asking for the success of this World Meeting of Families.

O God, who in the Holy Family
left us a perfect model of family life
lived in faith and obedience to your will,
Help us to be examples of faith and love for your commandments.
Help us in our mission of transmitting the faith that we received from our parents.
Open the hearts of our children
so that the seed of faith, which they received in baptism, will grow in them.
Strengthen the faith of our young people,
that they may grow in knowledge of Jesus.
Increase love and faithfulness in all marriages,
especially those going through times of suffering or difficulty.
United to Joseph and Mary,
we ask this through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.


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