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Pray for a miracle at the October Synod, Pope asks massive congregation in Ecuador

July 06, 2015

During the first outdoor Mass of his week-long trip to South America, Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for a miracle at the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, so that the Church might find new and effective solutions to the problems of the contemporary family.

“Families today need such a miracle,” the Pope told a massive congregation, estimated at well over 500,000 people, at the Parque Samanes, a huge shopping mall, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. But with God’s grace, the Church can transform “what might seem to us impure, scandalous, or frightening.”

(Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the press office, told reporters that the Pope’s words should be understood as a general reflection on the work of the Synod, rather than a reference to any particular topic that the bishops might discuss.)

In his homily at the Monday Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the miracle at Cana, and encouraged the congregation to follow the example set by the Virgin Mary. “She teaches us to put our families in God’s hands, to pray, to kindle the hope which shows us that our concerns are also God’s concerns,” he said.

“The family,” he said, “is the nearest hospital, the first school for the young, the best home for the elderly.”

Reminding his listeners that the family is the “domestic Church,” the Pope emphasized the importance of prayer, which “always lifts us out of our worries and concerns.”

The Pope said that in family life—as at Cana—“miracles are performed with what little we have.” He urged the faithful to help those families that are troubled, “those who have run out of wine, those who drink only of discouragement.” For all those families that follow Mary's advice, and do what Jesus tells them, the Pope said, the best wine is still to come.


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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jul. 07, 2015 9:46 PM ET USA

    The partial quote “what might seem to us impure, scandalous, or frightening.” is indeed frightening, but the longer quote from the Vatican Insider “Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, scandalous or threatening and turn it … into a miracle. And the family needs this miracle.” is less frightening. That one word "Christ" makes a big difference.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jul. 07, 2015 8:12 PM ET USA

    Families today don't need some miracle in Pope Francis's imagination. What they need is good, solid catechesis in the teachings of the Church and Bible.

  • Posted by: MAG - Jul. 07, 2015 1:39 PM ET USA

    What exactly does the Holy Father mean by “what might seem to us impure, scandalous, or frightening”? Pray for a miracle indeed.