weekly audience

POPE'S MESSAGE | Don't be bitter or give up; offer world your wisdom, pope tells seniors

Pope Francis gave the homily while celebrating Mass March 8 at St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer Parish on the outskirts of Rome.

VATICAN CITY -- Don't pack it in or shift into cruise control, Pope Francis told his fellow seniors.

Today's frenetic world, especially young people and families, needs the older generation's prayers, wisdom and gifts to give them the encouragement, hope and faith they often lack, he said at his weekly general audience March 11.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Life is enriched with the birth of children

A young girl touched Pope Francis’ face Feb. 11 at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

VATICAN CITY -- Children are a blessing, not a burden, and are a sign of the confident hope of a couple and of society, Pope Francis said.

"If a family that has been generous in having children is looked upon as a burden, something's wrong," he said Feb. 11 at his weekly general audience.

"The generation of children must be responsible," as Blessed Paul VI wrote in his encyclical "Humanae Vitae," the pope said. "But having more children cannot be looked upon automatically as an irresponsible choice. What is more, not having children is a selfish choice."

POPE'S MESSAGE | Families need fathers who guide, love them through thick and thin

Pope Francis used holy water to bless clergy before celebrating a Mass marking the feast of the Presentation of the Lord Feb. 2. The Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican also marked the World Day for Consecrated Life.

VATICAN CITY -- Every family needs a father -- a father who shares in his family's joy and pain, hands down wisdom to his children and offers them firm guidance and love, Pope Francis said.

Being a father is not easy since it takes lots of patience and grace, he said.

"But what consolation, what a reward one receives when the children honor this legacy. It is a joy that more than makes up for the hard work, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound," the pope said at his general audience Feb. 4.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Dads: Play with your kids, be strong, loving, moral role models

Pope Francis arrived to lead ecumenical vespers Jan. 25 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. The service marked the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as well as the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

VATICAN CITY -- When their lives are all work and no play, men turn their children into "orphans" who lack a father to guide them, show them love and teach them values, Pope Francis said.

"They are orphans in a family because their fathers are often absent, also physically, from home, but above all because when they are home they don't act like fathers, they don't dialogue with their children, they don't fulfill their role as educators, they don't give their children, by way of their example and their words, those principles, values and rules of life that they need like bread," he said.

POPE'S MESSAGE | World without mothers would be inhumane, lacking tenderness

Pope Francis kissed a statue of Baby Jesus as he celebrated Mass on the feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 6.

VATICAN CITY -- Mothers are indispensable to society and the Church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to some 4,000 people gathered indoors for his general audience Jan. 7, the pope continued his series of talks about the family, but also gave a second talk about beauty and harmony when he thanked a group of circus performers at the end of the audience.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Announcing new series of talks about family, pope reviews synod

Pope Francis greeted a disabled person at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Dec. 10.

VATICAN CITY -- The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in October was not the scene of "a clash between factions, but of a debate among bishops," a work that will continue with the 2015 general synod "for the good of families, the church and society," Pope Francis said.

Announcing a new series of Wednesday general audience talks about the family, the pope insisted Dec. 10 that no one at the extraordinary synod "called into question the fundamental truths about the sacrament of marriage: its indissolubility, unity, fidelity and openness to life."

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