Pope sends message for National Week of the Family in Brazil

2013-08-12 Vatican Radio

Parents are called to teach children to defend life, recognizing that life is a gift from God. This according to Pope Francis in his message sent on the occasion of the National Week of the Family in Brazil. The theme for this year’s celebration is “The Transmission and education of the Christian Faith within the family.” The Week of the Family opened on Sunday, and is being promoted by the Brazilian bishop’s conference.

In his message, Pope Francis encouraged parents in their “noble and demanding mission” of being the “first collaborators” with God, offering their children important guidance, and ensuring for them a good future. For this reason, the Holy Father said, quoting his encyclical Lumen Fidei, it is important that parents, within their own families, “encourage shared expressions of faith which can help children gradually to mature in their own faith.” (Lumen Fidei, 53) Parents, moreover, are called to transmit to their children, in both word and deed, the “fundamental truth about life and human love which receives new light from the Revelation of God.”

In a culture which devalues human life, Pope Francis said that parents are called to teach their children to defend life, beginning with life in the womb, recognizing that life is a gift from God and an assurance for the future of humanity. He also spoke about the importance of caring for the elderly, especially grandparents: they are the “living memory” of a community, and convey wisdom. Pope Francis imparted his apostolic blessing, entrusting Brazilian families to Our Lady of Aparecida.

Listen to Ann Schneible’s full report: