ROME — Pope Francis has urged Christians to pray during the month of June for young men and women preparing for marriage, offering an alternative, Christian message to LGBT Pride events.
On Tuesday, the pope released a video in which he announces his prayer intention for the Church for the month of June, with the title: The Beauty of Matrimony, publicized on the website of The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
“Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness, and patience,” the pontiff said.
“Is it true what some people say, that young people do not want to get married, especially in these hard times?” he asks in the video. “Getting married and sharing life is a beautiful thing. It is a challenging, sometimes difficult, sometimes even confrontational journey, but it is worth the risk.”
“And on this journey of all life, the bride and groom are not alone: Jesus accompanies them,” Francis adds.
The pope goes on to assert that marriage is not about the “party” but about a calling to the commitment of a shared life project.
“Marriage is not only a ‘social’ act: it is a vocation that comes from the heart, it is a conscious decision for life, which requires specific preparation,” he asserts.
“Please never forget that! God has a dream for us — love — and asks us to make it our own,” he insists. “Let us make love our own, which is God’s dream.”
“And let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: so that they may grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness, and patience,” he states. “Because to love you need a lot of patience. But it’s worth it, right?”
Pope Francis has championed traditional man-woman marriage since the beginning of his pontificate, insisting that marriage — founded on “the complementarity of man and woman” — is under attack in the modern world.
Traditional marriage between a man and a woman “is being questioned by the so-called gender ideology,” the pope said in June 2015, yet the differences between men and women do not suggest “opposition or subordination,” but are meant for “communion and procreation, always in the image and likeness of God.”
The most persuasive testimony of the blessing of Christian marriage is “the good life of Christian spouses and families,” Francis said on another occasion, since marriage consecrated by God “preserves the bond between man and woman that God has blessed since the creation of the world.”
The testimony that attracts depends on the relationship between men and women and is “the way of reciprocity between them, the complementarity between them,” he said.