Video. (Rome Reports). Pope Francis is not only the 266th Pontiff of the Catholic Church. Jorge Mario Bergoglio is also the oldest of 5 siblings. "Even the Pope has a family. We are 5 siblings and I have 16 nephews and nieces. One of these nephews had a car accident.”
His personal experience as well as meeting thousands of people have made the Pope an expert on the family. His advice, simple yet direct, can help in day-to-day life. There is no doubt that his advice to married couples has spread around the world.
1. "I always give this advice to newlyweds: 'Argue as much as you want. If the plates fly, let them. But never end the day without making peace. Never!”
2. "It isn't necessary to call the United Nations to come to one’s home to make peace. A small gesture, a caress, a hello is sufficient! And until tomorrow - and tomorrow one begins again.”
3. To learn about forgiveness, there is nothing better than the Bible, something that the Pope recommends to improve family life.
"It is not for putting in a shelf, but rather for having it at hand. It is for reading it often, every day, either individually or in groups, husband and wife, parents and children; maybe at night, especially on Sundays. That way, the family can move forward with the light and the power of the Word of God!”
4. He speaks to engaged couple on the beauty of marriage but is also very sincere with them. To move forward, they must strive. "It is a journey full of challenges, difficult at times, and also with its conflicts, but that is life.”
5. A life filled with children. The Pope never tires of denouncing a culture that does not favor the family. For this reason, he invited couples to throw themselves into the adventure of parenthood.
"This culture of comfort has, in the last 10 years, convinced us that it's better to not have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on vacation, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free.”
6. And when the children are already here, family life can be complicated at times. Pope Francis has asked to reflect on the frantic life that families sometimes experience.
"When I confess young couples and they talk to me about their children, I always ask one question: 'And do you have time to play with your children?' And many times the father tells me: 'But Father, they are sleeping when I go to work in the morning and when I come back at night they are already asleep in bed.' This is not life.”
7. He also has advice for children. Misused technology, he said, has become one of the elements that separates a family.
"Many children and young adults waste so much time on hollow things: Chatting on the internet, playing with the cell phone, seeing soap operas. High tech products are meant to make life simple and to improve the quality of life. But often, they distract us from what's really important.”
8. For the Pope, a fundamental pillar of family life are the elderly. They are the future of the people because they are its memory. For this reason, Pope Francis knows the imprint left by grandparents.
"One of he most beautiful things in the life of a family, of our lives, is to caress a child and to let them be caressed by a grandfather or grandmother.”
Striving, forgiveness, prayer and dedication are the ingredients that Pope Francis offers to strengthen family life.