LARGE FAMILIES ARE WITNESSES OF FAITH, AND A SOURCE OF WEALTH FOR NATIONS

Vatican City, 15 February 2012 (VIS) - "In today's social environment, families with many children are witnesses of faith, courage and optimism, because without children there is no future". The Pope addressed these words to representatives from the Italian National Association of Large Families who were attending his general audience this morning. "I hope", Benedict XVI went on, "that adequate social and legislative measures will continue to be promoted to support and protect larger families, who are a source of wealth and hope for the entire country".

Speaking to young people and the sick, Benedict XVI recalled the fact that yesterday marked the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, who spread the faith among Slavic peoples. "May their witness also help you to be apostles of the Gospel, the leaven for authentic renewal in personal, family and social life", he said.

The general audience concluded with the recitation of the Our Father and the apostolic blessing.