Best of Pope Francis on Marriage and Family

This is the first of a series of posts during this National Marriage Week.

By: Therese Bermpohl, Director of the Office for Family Life

To celebrate National Marriage Week, I have pulled some of Pope Francis’ most thoughtful reflections and advice on marriage and family life.  Enjoy!

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On the Importance of Centering Family Life on God:

Each Christian family can first of all… welcome Jesus, listen to Him, speak with Him, guard Him, protect Him, grow with Him; and in this way improve the world.” –Pope Francis, General Audience, St. Peter’s Square, Dec. 17, 2014

“…this is the great mission of the family: to make room for Jesus…” –Pope Francis, General Audience, St. Peter’s Square, Dec. 17, 2014

“The cure which God offers the people applies also, in a particular way, to spouses who ‘have become impatient on the way’ and who succumb to the dangerous temptation of discouragement, infidelity, weakness, abandonment. To them too, God the Father gives His Son Jesus, not to condemn them, but to save them…” –Pope Francis, Homily, St. Peter’s Square, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Sept. 14, 2014

“…Being together and knowing how to love forever is the challenge of Christian spouses. I am reminded of the miracle of the multiplication of the bread: for you, the Lord can multiply your love and give it to you fresh and good every day. He has an endless supply! He gives you the love that is the foundation of your marriage and every day he renews it, strengthens it. It makes it even greater when the family grows with children.” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

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On the Necessity of the Family:

“Not only would I say that the family is important for the evangelization of the new world, the family is important, and it is necessary for the survival of humanity.” –Pope Francis, Interview with the Radio of the Archdiocese of Rio, XXVIII World Youth Day, July 27, 2013

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On Motherhood:

“Every human person owes his or her life to a mother, and almost always owes much of what follows in life, both human and spiritual formation, to her.” –Pope Francis, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Jan. 7, 2015

“To be a mother is a great treasure. Mothers, in their unconditional and sacrificial love for their children, are the antidote to individualism; they are the greatest enemies against war.” –Pope Francis, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Jan. 7, 2015

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On Fatherhood:

“Every family needs a father.” –Pope Francis, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Feb. 4, 2015

“A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart.” –Pope Francis, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Feb. 4, 2015

“The father who knows how to correct without humiliating is the one who knows how to protect without sparing himself.” –Pope Francis, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Feb. 4, 2015

“The absent father figure in the life of little ones and young people causes gaps and wounds that may even be very serious. And, in effect, delinquency among children and adolescents can be largely attributed to this lack, to the shortage of examples and authoritative guidance in their everyday life, a shortage of closeness, a shortage of love from the father. And the feeling of orphanhood that so many young people live with is more profound than we think.” –Pope Francis, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Jan. 28, 2015

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On the Gift of Large Families:

“Every family is a cell of society…but large families are richer and more vital cells.” –Pope Francis, Paul VI Audience Hall, Feast of the Holy Family, Dec. 28, 2014

“In a world often marked by egoism, a large family is a school of solidarity and of mission that’s of benefit to the entire society.” –Pope Francis, Paul VI Audience Hall, Feast of the Holy Family, Dec. 28, 2014

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On Bringing Out the Best in Your Spouse:

“The husband has a duty to make his wife more a woman and the wife has the task of making her husband more of a man.”  –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

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On the Importance of Spousal Prayer:

“…prayer is important, it is necessary, always. Him for her, and her for him, and…both together. Ask Jesus to multiply your love.” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

“In the Lord’s Prayer we say: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ The bride and groom can learn to pray like that: ‘Lord, give us this day our daily love,’ because the love of the spouses is the daily bread, the true bread of the soul, that which supports them to move forward.” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

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On the Importance of Courtesy and Respect in Marriage:

“Living together is an art…This daily journey has rules that can be summed up in these… words which I have repeated many times to families: ‘Please,’ or ‘May I, ‘Thank you,’ and ‘Excuse me.'” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

“It is necessary to know how to say thank you, in order to get along well together in married life.” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

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On Gratitude:

Gratitude is an important quality! …Jesus heals ten who are sick with leprosy, and then only one returns to say thanks to Jesus. The Lord says, ‘and the other nine, where are they?’ This is also true for us: do we know how to say thanks?” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

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On the Need for Forgiveness and Acknowledgment of Wrongdoing:

“It is normal that there be a quarrel between husband and wife…Maybe you’re angry, maybe a plate flew, but please remember this: never finish the day without making peace! Never, never, never! This is a secret, a secret to protect love and to make peace.” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

A perfect family does not exist.  We should not be fearful of imperfections, weakness or even conflict, but rather learn how to deal with them constructively. The family, where we keep loving one another despite our limits and sins, thus becomes a school of forgiveness. –Pope Francis, Message of His Holiness for the 49th World Communications Day

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Challenge to Young Adults to Choose Marriage:

“Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion… They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘for ever,’ because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love.” –Pope Francis, Pavilion 5 of the Rio Center, Rio de Janeiro, XXVIII World Youth Day, July 28, 2013

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To those planning a wedding:

“Make sure that, like wine at Cana, the outward signs of your [wedding] celebration reveal the presence of the Lord and remind you and everyone what is the source and the reason for your joy.” –Pope Francis, Address of the Holy Father Francis to Couples Preparing for Marriage, St. Peter’s Square, Feb. 14, 2014

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