In his own words:
Excerpts from Pope Francis’ Address
at Festival of Families, Philadelphia
Beauty. This is the path that leads to God. Beauty leads us to God. And a true witness takes us to God, because God also is truth. Beauty and truth.
God is good. God is beautiful. God is true. Thank you all, those who’ve offered their witness and for the presence of all of you, that is a great witness. A real witness that it is worth being a family.
That a society is strong, it’s solid, if it is edified on beauty, goodness, and truth.
A Child’s Question of the Day
What did God do before creating the world?
I assure you, I found real difficulty to answer the question. So I said what I am now going to say to you:
Before creating the world God loved, because God is love. And so much love, between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it was so overflowing …
it was so big this love… it had to be poured out of him, so as to share that love with those out of himself, and then God created the world. God made this marvelous world in which we live.
Sometimes we’re a bit confused, we are destroying it. But the most beautiful thing that God did, says the Bible, was the family.
He created man, and he created woman.
And he gave them everything. He gave them the world.
Grow, multiply, cultivate the land
All that love that he made in creation, he gave it and shared it, and bestowed it upon a family.
Let us go back further: all the love that God has in himself, all the beauty he has in himself, all the truth, he gives it to the family. He gives it to the family when it is able to open its arms and receive all that love.
Of course, it’s not quite earthly paradise. There are still problems. Men and women, through the astuteness of the devil, have learned, unfortunately, how to divide themselves. All that love that God gave almost was lost.
In a little period of time, the first crime. The first instance of fratricide. A brother kills another brother, and war. Love, beauty, and truth of God and destruction and war, and between them, we walk ahead.
It’s up to us to choose. …to decide which path we want to take forward.
Let us go back. When man and his wife made a mistake, God did not abandon them. So great was his love, that he began to walk with humanity, with his people, until the right moment came, and he made the highest expression of love: his own son. And where did he send his son? To a palace? To a city? No, he sent him to a family. God sent him and in a family. He could do this because it was a family that had a truly open heart.
Mary, she couldn’t believe it. How can this happen? But when the angel explained it to her, she agreed. Saint Joseph. He finds himself in the surprising situation that he does not understand, and he accepts. He obeys. In obedience, he loved this woman. She loved this man.
There is a family in which Jesus is born.
God plans that our hearts be opened. He likes to bring his love to open hearts. It comes out from him.
We are celebrating the Feast of the Family. Families have a citizenship, which is divine. The identity card that they have is given to them by God, so that within the heart of the family, truth, goodness, and beauty can truly grow.
Some of you might say of course… Father, you speak like that because you’re not married.
Families have difficulties. Families, we quarrel. Sometimes plates can fly. And children bring headaches. I won’t speak about mother-in-laws.
But in families, there is always light. Because the love of God, the Son of God opened also that path for us.
Just as there are problems in families, we have to remember that there is the light of the resurrection afterwards, because the Son of God created that path.
In family, there are indeed difficulties, but those difficulties are overcome with love.
Hatred is not capable of dealing with any difficulty and overcoming any difficulty. Division of hearts cannot overcome any difficulty. Only love is able to overcome.
Love is about celebration. Love is joy. Love is moving forward.
Two things that we really have to take care of: children and grandparents.
Children… we place our hope in them. Grandparents… are the living memory of the family. They passed on the faith. They transmitted the faith to us.
To look after grandparents, to look after children, is the expression of love. It promises the future.
The family is beautiful, but there is effort involved, and there are problems. …Never let the day end without making peace.
May God bless you. May God give you hope. May God give you the strength to move forward. Let us look after the family. Let us protect the family.
Please pray for me.
- Read Pope Francis’ official prepared text for the Festival of Families (from which he deviated significantly; all his remarks were an impromptu catechesis on God’s loving plan and continued care for his people)
- Watch / listen Festival of Families / Pope Francis’ impromptu homily