Saturday, May 12, 2012


Very little is known about this early Church martyr, but the Roman people were so devoted to him that within two hundred years of his death Pope Symmacus build a church over his tomb. Perhaps he was so popular because he was only fourteen when he gave his life as a witness to the truth that nothing—not even earthly life—is more important than eternal life. Let us ask this young martyr to join us in praying that initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family, especially in the education and upbringing of children, may be promoted within society. Our reflection is from part of Pope Benedict’s annual address on January 9, 2012 to the diplomatic corps assigned to the Vatican.

Education is a crucial theme for every generation, for it determines the healthy development of each person and the future of all society. It thus represents a task of primary importance in this difficult and demanding time. In addition to a clear goal, that of leading young people to a full knowledge of reality and thus of truth, education needs settings. Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself. The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and States; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue. It is in the family that we become open to the world and to life and, as I pointed out during my visit to Croatia, “openness to life is a sign of openness to the future”. …

More generally, and with particular reference to the West, I am convinced that legislative measures which not only permit but at times even promote abortion for reasons of convenience or for questionable medical motives compromise the education of young people and, as a result, the future of humanity.

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