Family day at Torreciudad

Archbishop John Foley presided as thousands of families gathered at the Spanish shrine of Torreciudad to dedicate themselves anew to the Saviour's Mother. Posted 9/30/00

On September 16 thousands of families gathered at the Spanish shrine of Torreciudad to dedicate themselves anew to the Savior's Mother. This marked the shrine's twelfth edition of the annual Marian Family Day, attracting some 15,000 people. Archbishop John Foley, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, presided over the colorful event in the dramatic foothills of the Pyreness Mountains. "The family with its intimacy," said the Vatican's representative, "is the ideal place to cultivate an environment of love, the human and Christian qualities capable of transforming the world."

The outdoor Mass was celebrated in the shrine's vast esplanade. Thousands more in and beyond Spain were able to follow the ceremony on the Internet for the first time.

Archbishop Foley called on spouses to live a hierarchy of values themselves as the best way to transmit them to their families.

At its conclusion, Rev. Javier Mora-Figueroa, the shrine's rector, read a message from John Paul II, invoking the "protection of the Holy Family, the model for all Christian families." The Pope added that with this event many are able "to gain the Holy Year's plenary indulgence."

The afternoon witnessed a musical festival organized by the families themselves. As an image of the Virgin of Torreciudad made its way to all corners of the esplanade, the families joined in saying the rosary. The Marian Day concluded with a eucharistic act.

This year's celebration was special, coinciding not only with the Jubilee but also with the shrine's 25th anniversary. The shrine opened its doors on July 7, 1975, after long years of prayers and alms set in motion by Blessed Josemaria Escriva, who thus sought to spread devotion to the Virgin. "Since then," said the rector, "thousands of people have enjoyed the spiritual goods desired by Opus Dei's founder."

Archbishop Foley announced that his Council will publish next year a document on "Ethics and the Internet." The Church favors, he commented, "morally acceptable content on the Internet. These new technologies are a privileged vehicle for transmitting to all homes the Good News." Foley expressed a desire for not only decent content, but one that enriches morally, spiritually and humanly. So far the Council has issued documents on ethics in advertising and another dealing with informative means.

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