Pope's Address to Schoenstatt Members

"A Greater Need Than Ever for Healthy Families"

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address John Paul II delivered today to the participants in the General Congress of the International Union of Schoenstatt Families.



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Dear Brothers and Sisters of the International Union of Schoenstatt Families

1. At the conclusion of your General Congress, you have come in pilgrimage to Rome to pray at the tombs of the Apostles and to renew before the Successor of Peter your fidelity to the Church. Your visit makes me very happy and I give you a heartfelt welcome here, in the Pope's house. May these days in the Eternal City be a time of grace, in which you all are able to experience the closeness of God and of his saints!

2. "The future of humanity is forged in the family!" (apostolic letter "Familiaris Consortio," No. 86). You have dedicated yourselves up to now to understand marriage and the family in a profound way in the light of the faith. It is good that the family is the charism of your union. The family is a "school of love." Transmit to people your enthusiasm for marriage and the family! At present, society has a greater need than ever for healthy families that are capable of defending common values. If we strengthen the sacred institution of marriage and the family in keeping with the divine plan, love and solidarity will grow among peoples!

3. Dear Brothers and Sisters! The Year of the Eucharist is an urgent invitation for all of you to find "in the supreme sacrament of love the source of all communion" (Message for the 2005 World Day of Peace). Rediscover the incredibly great gift of the Eucharist! In this way, you will be able "to live fully the beauty and mission of the family" (apostolic letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine," No. 30). Through the intercession of "Mater Admirabilis," I impart to you from my heart the apostolic blessing.

[Translation by ZENIT]