Philippine Catholic bishops consecrated Filipino families to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph on Friday, March 19, at the start of the “Amoris Laetitia Family Year.”
“In gratitude to all who responded heroically to the Holy Spirit’s impetus to share the Gospel with us, we … consecrate our families and our nation to the Blessed Virgin Mary … and to St. Joseph,” read the bishops’ letter.
Pope Francis has declared the observance of “Amoris Laetitia Family Year” from March 19, 2021, to June 26, 2020, “to show the world that God’s plan for the family is a source of joy and hope.”
Published five years ago, “Amoris Laetitia” still needs to be fully embraced in people’s hearts, minds and lives, and turn its teachings into actual practice.
In their pastoral letter, the Philippine Church leaders noted that despite the pandemic, which has disrupted the lives of people, the Christian faith continues to provide hope to Filipinos.
The bishops said the people’s faith also encourages people to “sacrifice all the more so that our families and communities may live and thrive in a free nation, nurturing a civilization of life and love.”
“We, Filipino Catholics, continue to hold that the family is meant by God to be the first school of discipleship where the parents are the first catechists of their children,” read the bishops’ letter.
Pope Francis has earlier stressed that the encyclical Amoris Laetitia “represents an invitation to Christian families to value the gifts of marriage and the family, and to persevere in a love strengthened by the virtues of generosity, commitment, fidelity and patience.”