To His Eminence Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo
President of the Pontifical Council for the Family
On 9 July 2006, at the end of the Fifth World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain, I had the opportunity to announce that the Sixth Meeting of Families would be held in Mexico. It will be taking place from 16 to 18 January 2009 on the theme: "The family, teacher of human and Christian values", in continuity with last year's unforgettable event.
As the first school of life and faith and the "domestic Church", the family is called to educate the new generations in the human and Christian values so that in modelling its life on the example of Christ, it may shape within them a harmonious personality.
In this task, so crucial for the human person who cannot be reduced merely to knowing how to use realities within his reach but strives above all to seek and to commit himself to the ideals and models of behaviour which make him "superior to bodily things" (Gaudium et Spes, n. 14), it is also necessary to rely on schools, parishes and the various ecclesial groups that encourage the human being's integral education.
At a time when there is frequently a gap between what people say they are doing and the actual way they live and behave, this upcoming World Meeting of Families is resolved to encourage Christian homes to form an upright moral conscience, which will help them, strengthened by God's grace, to follow faithfully his will which he revealed to us through Jesus Christ and has inscribed in the depths of every person's heart (ibid., n. 16).
I would like on this occasion to offer a cordial greeting to my Brother Bishops of this beloved Nation, especially Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City, the Ecclesial Community which will give hospitality to the families from many different parts of the world who will be taking part in this important Gathering.
I ask the Lord to illuminate with his grace the preparatory process and celebration of this event and to grant that it may be a special opportunity for families to rejoice in their own vocation and mission, both those present and those united in spirit.
With these sentiments, as I recommend you to the Holy Family of Nazareth, I bless you with all my affection.
From the Vatican, 1 October 2007
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
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