“The experience of the pandemic,” as the statement from the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life points out, “has highlighted the central role of the family as a domestic Church and underlined the importance of forging links between families.”
Through the various spiritual, pastoral and cultural initiatives envisaged for the Amoris Laetitia Family Year (simultaneous with the Year of Saint Joseph), Pope Francis is addressing all the world’s faithful, exhorting each person to give witness to family love.
“In imitation of the Holy Family,” the Holy Father said, “we are called to rediscover the educational value of the family unit: it requires being founded on the love that always regenerates relationships, opening up horizons of hope. Within the family one can experience sincere communion when it is a house of prayer, when affections are serious, profound, pure, when forgiveness prevails over discord, when the daily harshness of life is softened by mutual tenderness and serene adherence to God’s will. In this way,” he continued, “the family opens itself up to the joy that God gives to all those who know how to give joyfully. At the same time, it finds the spiritual energy to be open to the outside world, to others, to serving brothers and sisters, to cooperation in building an ever new and better world; capable, therefore, of becoming a bearer of positive stimuli; the family evangelizes by the example of life” (Angelus address, 27 December 2020).