By Alessandro De Carolis
"The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church."
The opening words of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which Pope Francis promulgated on 19 March 2016, express what the prevailing sentiment of the universal Church is toward the "domestic church" of the family.
With great care and depth, the 325 paragraphs of the papal document enter into the "flesh" of family fragilities and then revive the beauty of these bonds according to God's plan.
Celebrating 5th anniversary
Five years later, the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has decided to celebrate this anniversary and launch a special year desired by Pope Francis and inspired by Amoris laetitia by offering a series of initiatives.
These include a space for the witness of ten families from various geographical backgrounds every month, starting 25 March, where they share details about their lives and their faith, and examine their own experience with regard to the teachings of the Pope, who in each episode of the series will reflect on some part of the document.
The videos, accompanied by a downloadable pastoral aid, are produced in collaboration with the Dicastery for Communication, which will publish them in five languages on the Vatican News portal, as well as the website www.amorislaetitia.va.
The Pope's gift
In presenting the project, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who heads the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, says these video testimonies are a "gift that Pope Francis has given to each of us." They are also "a moment to remember that this great teaching is relevant in our world today."
"I hope and pray," Cardinal Farrell concludes, "that we can all come together to hear, to feel and to understand the importance of this document for our world today. This, in the history of humanity, is a moment that requires the commitment of each of us to better understand the challenges and blessings of family life, for the good of humanity and society at large."