Pope Francis' Address to the Italian Association of Large Families
"In a world often marked by selfishness, the large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and this attitude then becomes a benefit for the whole society."
Dear parents, I am grateful to you for the example of love towards life, that you preserve from conception to natural end, despite all the difficulties and burdens of life, and that unfortunately, the public institutions do not always help you. You rightly remembered that article 31 of the Italian Constitution, asks for particular attention to large families; but this is not adequately reflected in the facts. It remains in words. Therefore, I hope, also thinking of the low birth rate that has long been in Italy, for a greater focus on policy and administrators on a public level, in order to give due support to these families. Each family is a cell of society, but large families are a more rich cell, more vibrant, and the State has an interest in investing in it.
Therefore, we welcome the families meeting in this association– like this Italian one and those of other European countries represented here -, and we welcome a network of family associations capable of being present and visible in society and in politics. In this regard, St. John Paul II wrote: "Families should grow in awareness of being 'protagonists' of what is known as 'family politics' and assume responsibility for transforming society; otherwise families will be the first victims of the evils that they have done no more than note with indifference." (Familiaris consortio, 44)
The commitment that the family associations develop in the various national and local "Forums", is precisely that of promoting in society and in the laws of the State the values and needs of the family. We also welcome the ecclesial movements, in which you members of large families are particularly present and active. I always thank the Lord in seeing mothers and fathers of large families, together with their children, engaged in the life of the Church and society. For my part, I am close to you through prayers, and I place you all under the protection of the Holy Family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. And a beautiful news is that in Nazareth, a house for families is being built for families around the world who go as pilgrims where Jesus grew in age, wisdom and grace (cfr. Lk. 2,40).
I pray in particular for the families who are most tested by the economic crisis, those where the father or mother have lost their job, - and this is hard – where the youth have been unable to find [work]; the families tried by love ones and those tempted to give in to loneliness and division.
HE SAID THIS IN DECEMBER OF 2014.
A million kisses and thanks to Elena Vidal for the reminder.