Pope Francis: Large Families That Welcome Children Are A True Gift From God

by Diane Montagna  |  published on January 23, 2015

At this morning’s Wednesday General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis told the faithful that large families that welcome children are a true gift from God. He also said “we need to defend families from new forms of ideological colonization which threaten its identity and mission.”

In his words to pilgrims, Pope Francis said “it is a consolation and hope to see so many large families that welcome children as a true gift from God. They know that every child is a blessing.”

Papal Precedent

Of course, Pope Francis is not the first pontiff to extol the virtue and happiness present in a large family. Previous pontiffs have also singled out large families for fulsome praise. One of the most eloquent reflections on the beauty and joy of large families came from Venerable Pope Pius XII, who in in speaking to Directors of the Associations for Large Families of Rome and Italy in July 1958 said: “Large families are the most splendid flower-beds in the garden of the Church.”

In the same address, Venerable Pope Pius XII spoke of the “serenity of spirit to be found in parents who are surrounded by a rich abundance of young lives”. He said: “The joy that comes from the plentiful blessings of God breaks out in a thousand different ways and there is no fear that it will end. The brows of these fathers and mothers may be burdened with cares, but there is never a trace of that inner shadow that betrays anxiety of conscience or fear of an irreparable return to loneliness, Their youth never seems to fade away, as long as the sweet fragrance of a crib remains in the home, as long as the walls of the house echo to the silvery voices of children and grandchildren.”

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