Pope Francis on Thursday met with the Bishops of Malawi, who are in Rome on their ad limina visit.
In his address, he expressed his “appreciation” for the “admirable spirit” of the Malawian people, noting that despite “serious obstacles, have remained strong in their commitment to family life.
“It is in the family, with its unique capacity to form each member, particularly the young, into persons of love, sacrifice, commitment and fidelity, that the Church and society in Malawi will find the resources necessary to renew and build up a culture of solidarity,” Pope Francis said.
“There is no aspect of family life – childhood and youth; friendship, engagement and marriage; spousal intimacy, fidelity and love; interpersonal relations and support – which is excluded from the healing and strengthening touch of God’s love, communicated through the Gospels and taught by the Church,” he continued.
“There is scarcely a greater commitment that the Church can make to the future of Malawi – and indeed, to her own development – than that of a thorough and joyful apostolate to families.”
Pope Francis said a “natural result” of this apostolate will be an increase in religious and priestly vocations.
“As the Church in Malawi continues to mature, it is imperative that the strong foundations laid by generations of faithful missionaries be built upon by local men and women evangelizers,” he said.
The Holy Father concluded his address by speaking of those suffering from HIV/AIDS, particularly to the orphaned children and parents left without love and support as a result of this illness.
“Continue to be close to those in distress, to the sick, and especially to the children,” said Pope Francis “I ask you, particularly, to offer my gratitude to the many men and women who present Christ’s tenderness and love in Catholic healthcare institutions.” –Source: Vatican Radio