The Vatican (Wednesday, August 22, 2018, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis has requested prayers of the faithful for his upcoming trip to Ireland this weekend, that it may be “a moment of grace” and “listening to families.”
Toward the conclusion of today’s August 22, 2018, weekly general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall, the pope said: “Pray also for me, so that my upcoming trip to Dublin, on August 25th and 26th, on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families, may be a moment of grace and listening to the voice of Christian families all over the world.” He ended, saying: “God bless you all!”
On august 21, 2018, on the occasion of the opening of the 9th world meeting of families, organized in the irish capital, involving families from 116 countries on 5 continents, the pope tweeted:”today the world meeting of #families begins in Dublin. Let us join in prayer with all the families of the world, especially those in difficulty. @wmof2018 @laityfamilylife.” later the same day, the pope tweeted: “the family is where hope is forged.”
The WMOF’s opening ceremony took place that evening in Dublin and in all the dioceses of the country, and has for its theme “The joy of love in families is also the joy of the Church.” Three days of pastoral congress are following, centered on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
The international event culminates with the arrival of Pope Francis on Saturday, Aug. 25, who will attend the Family Festival that evening, and the grand concluding Mass at Phoenix Park on August 26.
In a briefing in the Holy See Press Office this week, the Press Office Director, Greg Burke confirmed the Pope will meet with sex abuse victims privately in Ireland, and that details will be released only afterward.
Burke also noted that Pope Francis has been in Ireland before to study English for two months in 1980. However, all his speeches over the weekend in the country will be in Italian.
Last evening, Aug. 22, Pope Francis sent a videomessage ahead of his Ireland visit, in which he said: “I am excited at the thought of returning to Ireland!” Today, the Pope tweeted: “We must protect the #Family. Our future depends on it.”