VATICAN - AT THE ANGELUS PRAYER ON HOLY FAMILY SUNDAY, THE POPE RECALLS THE “IMPORTANCE OF THE FAMILY BASED ON MATRIMONY” AND HE CALLS ON THE WORLD TO HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN IRAN
Vatican City (Fides Service ) – At midday on Sunday 28 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth - Pope John Paul II appeared at his study window to pray with the crowds and impart his blessing on several thousands of Christmas visitors from all over the world. In his brief reflection before praying the Angelus the Pope said “at the school of Nazareth every family learns to be source of love, unity and openness to life” and he added: “In our day a wrong interpretation of a sense of rights often destroys the very nature of the family institution and the wedding bond. All who believe in the importance of the family based on matrimony must unite efforts at all levels. The family is a human and divine reality which must be protected and promoted as a fundamental good of society.” The Pope also recalled the teaching of Vatican II, which called all Christians to “work diligently to develop the values of matrimony and the family” and he added: “The Gospel of the family must be proclaimed with joy and courage.”
The Pope also mentioned the tragic earth tremor in Iran a few days ago, calling for international aid and urging those present to pray “for the people of Bam, in Iran, victims of a violent earthquake”, and he entrusted to the all-merciful God “the thousands who lost their lives, the injured and survivors who are homeless and in need of help.” “I call on international organisations, Catholic charity bodies in particular, to reach out with generosity to our Iranian brothers and sisters struck by such a grave catastrophe. May solidarity from the whole world, more deeply felt in the spirit of Christmas, render their situation less dramatic” the Pope concluded.(S.L.) (Fides Service 29/12/2003 – lines 21; words 295)
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