Pope Francis: Faith Unites Families Across Generations

In his Sunday Angelus address on the feast of the Holy Family, the Holy Father prayed for all families facing challenges.

Pope Francis delivers his Sunday Angelus address on Dec. 28.
Pope Francis delivers his Sunday Angelus address on Dec. 28. (photo: ctv.va)

VATICAN CITY — In his Angelus address on the feast of the Holy Family, Pope Francis reflected on the power of faith to bring families together across generations, and he prayed especially for families facing difficult challenges.

“Jesus is the one who brings the generations together. He is the source of that love that unites families and people, overcoming all mistrust, all isolation, every distance,” said the Holy Father, recalling the Dec. 28 Gospel account of the Holy Family’s encounter with Anna and Simeon in the Temple.

The Holy Father then greeted “all the grandparents of the world,” speaking of their crucial role.

“How important is their presence, the presence of grandparents. How precious is their role within the family and society,” he said. 

“The good relation between youth and the elderly is decisive for the path of the civil and ecclesial community.”

Turning again to the Holy Family, Pope Francis said it is holy because it is centered on Jesus. He described the climate of faith that provided Mary and Joseph the strength needed to endure trials, such as the flight to Egypt, and encouraged all families to look to them as an icon of family life.

“This light that comes from the Holy Family encourages us to offer human warmth in those family situations which, for various reasons, lack peace, lack harmony and lack forgiveness,” said the Pope. 

The Holy Father then asked the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square to join him in praying for families, especially those facing challenges.

“We pray for all these families in difficulty, be it difficulties of sickness, lack of work, discrimination, the need to migrate; be it the lack of understanding each other, as well as disunion.”

After a moment of silent prayer, he concluded his prepared remarks by entrusting all the families of the world to the maternal protection of Mary, Queen of Families.

Following the recitation of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis spoke off the cuff about the AirAsia jet that went missing during its flight from Indonesia to Singapore earlier that day, carrying 162 people. He also called attention to a ferry accident in the Adriatic Sea. He prayed specifically for the families of the victims of both incidents as well as the rescue workers.