VATICAN CITY: A Catholic wedding is not simply a beautiful ceremony – through the sacrament of marriage a couple receives from God the grace they will need to fulfil their mission in the world, Pope Francis said.
Addressing an estimated 100,000 people who came to St Peter’s Square on October 26 for a Year of Faith celebration of family life, Pope Francis said Catholic spouses were not naive; they knew difficult moments would come.
But vowing to love one another in sickness and health, joy and sorrow all the days of their lives, Catholic couples put their lives in the hands of God and rely on him for strength.
“They do not run away; they do not hide; they do not shirk the mission of forming a family and bringing children into the world,” the Pope said.
For hours before the Pope arrived, singers and storytellers took the stage in St Peter’s Square, recounting the greatness of love and family life and the importance of forgiveness.
Volunteers went through the crowd handing out red, green, orange, yellow, blue and violet balloons.
Despite the master of ceremonies’ plea to hang on to the helium-filled balloons until everyone was told to release them, throughout the evening balloons dotted the skies over St Peter’s Square.