Holy Father Confirms Croatia in the Faith

Affirms God's Love for the Family

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ZAGREB, Croatia, JUNE 5, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI traveled to Croatia this weekend to confirm the local Church in the faith, and to assure families of God's closeness to them.

The Pope reiterated his message of faith and family before praying the Regina Caeli together with some 400,000 who gathered at the Zabgreb Hippodrome to mark the National Day of Croatian Catholic Families.

"I have come here today to confirm you in your faith," he said. "This is the gift I bring you: the faith of Peter, the faith of the Church! But at the same time you give me this same faith, enriched with your experience, your joys and sufferings."

"In a special way you give me your faith lived in the family," the Pontiff added, "so that I may keep it in the patrimony of the whole Church."

Benedict XVI entrusted all Croatian families to Mary: "I know that you find great strength in Mary, the Mother of Christ and our Mother. So we now turn to her, spiritually oriented towards her Shrine at Marija Bistrica, and we entrust to her all Croatian families: parents, children, grandparents; the journey of husband and wife, the task of education, professional activities and home-making. We invoke her intercession that public institutions may always sustain the family, the basic cell of the social fabric."

"Dear families, do not be afraid," the Holy Father concluded. "The Lord loves the family and he is close to you!"

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On ZENIT's Web page:

Full text of Regina Caeli address: www.zenit.org/article-32763?l=english