By Francesca Merlo
“Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the next World Meeting of Families, due to take place in Rome from 23 to 27 June 2021.
A statement released by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life explains that, as the event will be taking place on the 5th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and three years after the promulgation of Gaudete et Exsultate, “the aim is to emphasise family love as a vocation and a way to holiness, and to understand and share the profound and redeeming significance of family relationships in daily life”.
“Conjugal and family love reveals the precious gift of a life together where communion is nourished and a culture of individualism, consumption and waste is averted”, reads the statement. It also places emphasis on recognizing the importance of the identity of each member of the family.
According to the statement, marriage and family shape a concrete experience of love. They demonstrate the “great significance of human relationships in which joys and struggles are shared in the unfolding of daily life as people are led towards an encounter with God”.
This journey strengthens love and enables the vocation to holiness. In this way, concludes the statement, the Christian Family is an expression of the “most attractive face of the Church”.
The last World Meeting of Families was held in Ireland in August 2018. The theme chosen by Pope Francis was “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.