To bear witness to the inestimable value of the indissolubility and fidelity of marriage is one of the most precious and most urgent tasks of Christian couples in our time.
Today the Church celebrates World Marriage Sunday. Fittingly, this year it coincides with the Feast of St. Valentine, patron saint of happy marriages. “To Have, To Hold, To Honor” is the theme designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. According to the Bishops, it is a time to reflect on the gift marriage is to our Church and our country, as well as an opportunity for couples to build up their own marriages.
Indeed, marriage is a gift to the Church and our country. St. John Paul II said, “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.” The family is the bedrock of society. The health of our culture and nation depends on the health of families. We are living in troubling times and many of our social ills are related to the breakup of the family.
What does a healthy family look like? It is a family that fulfills its mission. St. John Paul II, in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (The Family in the Modern World), said…