Focussing on family love

The 10th World Meeting of Families (WMOF) to be held in June is aimed at highlighting family love as a vocation and a way of holiness.

After being postponed from last year due to the pandemic, Pope Francis has asked dioceses around the world to encourage families to participate in the WMOF.

While Rome will be the main venue for  the event from June 22 to 26, each diocese will promote  local events for its own families and communities based on the theme:

‘Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.’

The WMOF is an opportunity for Catholics at the local level to renew their   commitment to family ministry in solidarity     with diocesan communities from around the world.

Local events   ,  reflections and moments of prayer will be held to coincide with the gathering in Rome. The event is being organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and the Diocese of Rome.

This Mystery is Great is the official image    of the WMOF designed by artist and theologian Fr Marko Ivan Rupnik SJ.

The image portrays the Wedding Feast at Cana, with the bride and groom in the background on the left, covered by a veil. Jesus and Mary are seen united  at the moment when Mary tells her Son, “They have no more wine” (John 2:3). In the foreground is the steward, with the face of St Paul as portrayed in classical  iconography.

It’s St Paul who removes the veil with his hand, and referring to the wedding,  exclaims, “This mystery is great; but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church!” (Ephesians 5:32).

Explaining the image’s meaning, Fr Marko says, “Sacramental love between a man and a woman is a reflection of the indissoluble love and unity between Christ and the Church: Jesus sheds His blood for Her.”

                                                                           

                                                                                                    Prayer for the 10th World Meeting of Families

Heavenly Father,

We come before you to praise you and to thank you for the great gift of the family.

We pray to you for all families consecrated by the Sacrament of Matrimony. May they rediscover each day the grace they have received, and as small domestic churches, may they know how to witness to your Presence and to the love with which Christ loves the Church.

We pray to you for all families faced with difficulty and suffering caused by illness or circumstances of which only you know.

Sustain them and make them aware of the path to holiness upon which you call them, so that they might experience your infinite mercy and find new ways to grow in love.

We pray to you for children and young people: may they encounter you and respond joyfully to the vocation you have in mind for them;

We pray for parents and grandparents: may they be aware that they are signs of the fatherhood and motherhood of God in caring for the children who, in body and spirit, you entrust to them; for the experience of fraternity that the family can give to the world.

Lord, grant that each family might live their specific vocation to holiness in the Church as a call to become missionary disciples, in the service of life and peace, in communion with our priests, religious, and all vocations in the Church.

Bless the World Meeting of Families.

Amen.

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