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Voices Online Edition
Michaelmas 2001, Volume XVI No. 3

Holy Father's Prayer for Families
from Familiaris Consortio

At the conclusion of his Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, on the Role of the Family in the Modern World, the Holy Father presented a prayer to families. As we observe the twentieth anniversary of that fundamental teaching document, it is fitting that this prayer be recalled by families today.

I wish to invoke the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Through God's mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life.
It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families.
It was unique in the world.
Its life was passed in anonymity and silence in a little town in Palestine.
It underwent trials of poverty, persecution and exile.
It glorified God in an incomparably exalted and pure way.
And it will not fail to help Christian families --
indeed, all the families in the world --
to be faithful to their day-to-day duties,
to bear the cares and tribulations of life,
to be open and generous to the needs of others,
and to fulfill with joy the plan of God in their regard.

Saint Joseph was "a just man,"
a tireless worker,
the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care.
May he always guard, protect and enlighten families.
May the Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church,
also be the Mother of "the Church of the home".
Thanks to her motherly aid,
may each family really become a "little Church"
in which the mystery of the Church of Christ
is mirrored and given new life.
May she, the Handmaid of the Lord,
be an example of humble and generous acceptance of the will of God.
May she, the Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross,
comfort the sufferings and dry the tears of those in distress
because of the difficulties in their families.

May Christ the Lord, the Universal King, the King of Families,
be present in every Christian home as He was at Cana,
bestowing light, joy, serenity and strength.
On the solemn day dedicated to His Kingship
I beg of Him that every family may generously make its own contribution
to the coming of His Kingdom in the world --
"a kingdom of truth and life;
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace,
towards which history is journeying".
I entrust each family to Him, to Mary, and to Joseph.
To their hands and their hearts I offer this Exhortation:
May it be they who present it to you,
venerable Brothers and beloved sons and daughters,
and may it be they who open your hearts to the light that the Gospel sheds on every family.
I assure you all of my constant prayers and I cordially impart
the apostolic blessing to each and every one of you,
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Joannes Paulus PP.II
November 22, 1981
-- from Familiaris Consortio,
Apostolic Exhortation on the
Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World

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