The Apostleship of Prayer announced the general intention chosen by the Pope: "That the family may become more and more a place of training in charity, personal growth and transmission of the faith."
The Holy Father also chooses an apostolic intention for each month. In January, he will pray "that the different Christian confessions, aware of the need for a new evangelization in this period of profound transformations, may be committed to announcing the Good News and moving towards the full unity of all Christians in order to offer a more credible testimony of the Gospel."
Thousands of families will gather Jan. 13-18 in Mexico City for the VI World Meeting of Families. The theme of the meeting is "The Family as Educator in Human and Christian Values."
Benedict XVI will present two video messages for the event, and has sent his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as his legate to the encounter.
Pope John Paul II initiated the first World Meeting of Families in Rome in 1994 for the occasion of the International Year of the Family promoted by the United Nations.
Subsequent encounters took place in Rio de Janiero (1997), Rome (2000), Manila (2003) and Valencia (2006).