St Peter’s Square
Sunday, 31 December 2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this last Sunday of the year we are celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. I address with joy all the families of the world, wishing them the peace and love that Jesus brought us in coming among us at Christmas.
In the Gospel we do not find discourses on the family but an event which is worth more than any words: God wanted to be born and to grow up in a human family. In this way he consecrated the family as the first and ordinary means of his encounter with humanity.
In his life spent at Nazareth, Jesus honoured the Virgin Mary and the righteous Joseph, remaining under their authority throughout the period of his childhood and his adolescence (cf. Lk 2: 41-52). In this way he shed light on the primary value of the family in the education of the person.
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