In the video with the intention of prayer for the month of June, Francis asks to pray for the young people who are preparing for marriage. Love is the “dream of God” for us
Debora Donnini – Vatican City
“It’s worth the risk”: even if it is true that marriage is “a demanding journey, sometimes difficult, sometimes even conflicting”, “getting married and sharing life is a beautiful thing”. The Pope’s is a strong encouragement to undertake this journey “of all life”, in which there is a central aspect: the groom and the bride are not alone, because “Jesus accompanies them”. The exhortation is expressed in the Video released by the World Prayer Network, with its intention for the month of June, which focuses precisely on the beauty of marriage and is published in collaboration with the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
Marriage as a vocation
“Is it true what some say, that young people do not want to get married, especially in these difficult times?”, The Pope asks himself, aware of the difficulties and complications also linked to the pandemic. “Marriage – he underlines – is not just a social act ‘: it is a vocation that comes from the heart, it is a conscious decision for life, which requires specific preparation”. This is an indication that signals the importance of accompaniment on the part of the Christian community:
Please never forget that! God has a dream for us, love, and he asks us to make it ours. Let us make love our own, which is God’s dream. And let us pray for the young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: that they may grow in love, with generosity, fidelity and patience. Because to love you need a lot of patience. But it’s worth it.
Special year dedicated to the family
This June Video is therefore fully inserted into the Year “Famiglia Amoris Laetitia”, wanted by Francis and started on March 19, 2021, on the theme “Family love: vocation and path of holiness”. A convocation that coincides with the fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation The joy and with the third of the Rejoice and be glad. It is also accompanied by another important event: the Year of St. Joseph, which will last until 8 December.
Marriages are decreasing, divorces are increasing
In the press release, which usually accompanies the Video, an overview of the situation of marriages today is offered. According to some data, the marriage rate has been falling significantly since 1972, to the point where in countries like the United States it has reached its lowest levels since records are being kept. In many places, moreover, there is also an increase in the age of marriage. “As for families, it is noted not only that the proportion of children born out of wedlock has increased considerably in almost all OECD countries, but also that the number of divorces has multiplied, which in some countries involve more than half of the couples ”, he emphasizes.
Central preparation and accompaniment
“Preparing young people and engaged couples for a real vocation, and not just for the celebration of the wedding, is a priority”, comments Gabriella Gambino, undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, also in the statement. It is therefore necessary to start afresh from the meaning of Baptism to help young people understand that “one’s family project is the answer to a call”. “In a secularized society, which no longer believes in marriage”, it is fundamental, he explains, to announce the power of the sacrament as a vocation, “to show that family relationships can have a saving value for people and be a way of holiness. It is a question of bringing Christ concretely into the life of families ”.
Frédéric Fornos, International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, also notes the importance for young people preparing for marriage to be able to count on the support of a Christian community, since “marriage is a vocation, a response to the call of the Lord: the decision to marry and to create a family ”is the fruit of discernment: on this lifelong journey Jesus,“ the Father’s Face of Love, accompanies them ”.
The Pope’s Video initiative has reached its fifth year of life. It is distributed in 23 languages that have gradually been added and will also be translated into Filipino and the Maya-Q’eqchi language, testifying to an ever-growing interest in the world.