Christian family life is a vocation and, when lived with fidelity, it is a path to holiness, said the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.
The office on 17 May announced the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Meeting of Families, which will be in Rome June 23-27, 2021: "Family love: A vocation and a path to holiness."
The dicastery asked that in preparation for the meeting, families and pastoral workers read both Pope Francis' 2016 exhortation on the family, "Amoris Laetitia," and his 2018 exhortation on the universal call to holiness, "Gaudete et Exsultate."
"The aim is to emphasise family love as a vocation and a way to holiness and to understand and share the profound and redeeming significance of family relationships in daily life," the dicastery said.
The love of a husband and wife and the love found within families, it said, show "the precious gift of a life together where communion is nourished and a culture of individualism, consumption and waste is averted."
Married couples and families, the dicastery said, "demonstrate the great significance of human relationships in which joys and struggles are shared in the unfolding of daily life as people are led toward an encounter with God."
"When lived with fidelity and perseverance," marriage and family life "strengthens love and enables the vocation to holiness that is possessed by each individual person and expressed in conjugal and family relationships. In this sense, Christian family life is a vocation and a way to holiness, an expression of the 'most attractive face of the church.'"