30-December-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Faith Is A Precious Gift That We Must Nurture In Our Children

Vatican City, 30 December 2012 (VIS) - At noon today, the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth, the Holy Father prayed the Angelus from the window of his study with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Mary and Joseph's concern for Jesus, Benedict XVI said, "is the same as all parents who are raising a child, to introduce him to life and an understanding of reality. Today, therefore, we must say a special prayer to the Lord for all the families of the world. In imitation of the Holy Family of Nazareth, parents must be seriously involved in the growth and education of their children, so that they may become responsible and honest citizens, never forgetting that faith is a precious gift to nurture in their children, particularly through personal example. We also pray that every child may be welcomed as a gift from God and sustained by the love of a father and a mother in order to grow, like the Lord Jesus, in 'wisdom and age and favour before God and man'. May the love, fidelity, and dedication of Mary and Joseph be an example for all Christian spouses, who are not their children's friends nor the owner's of their children's lives, but the guardians of this incomparable gift from God."

"May the silence of Joseph, a just man, and the example of Mary, who kept all these things in her heart, bring us to enter into the mystery of the Holy Family full of faith and humanity. I wish for all Christian families to live in the presence of God with the same love and joy as the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph."

Greeting the pilgrims in English after the Marian prayer the Holy Father also added, "May Jesus, Mary, and Joseph bring greater love, unity, and harmony to all Christian families, that they in their turn may be a firm example to the communities in which they live. May God bless you and your dear families!"

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