Sunday February 23rd. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

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Greeting thousands of engaged couples on the feast of St. Valentine, Pope Francis told them not to be afraid of building a permanent and loving relationship in a culture where everything is disposable and fleeting.
The secrets to a loving and lasting union, he said, include treating each other with respect, kindness and gratitude, and never letting daily struggles and squabbles sabotage making peace and saying, “I’m sorry.”
“The perfect family doesn’t exist, nor is there a perfect husband or a perfect wife, and let’s not talk about the perfect mother-in-law!” he said to laughter and applause. “It’s just us sinners,” he said. But “if we learn to say we’re sorry and ask forgiveness, the marriage will last.” After a week of heavy rains, bright sunshine warmed St. Peter’s Square and the 30,000 people who gathered for an audience on February 14th. dedicated to couples completing their marriage preparation courses and planning to be married in the church this year.
The initiative, “The Joy of ‘Yes’ Forever,” was organized by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The archbishop told the pope that the young couples in the square were evidence of how many people do want to “go against the tide” by having a love that lasts forever and is blessed by God. Engaged couples attending the audience received a small white pillow with Pope Francis’ signature and his papal crest; the cushion has two satin ribbons for securing wedding rings during the marriage ceremony. “Living together is an art, a patient, beautiful and amazing journey” that “doesn’t end when you’ve won over each others’ hearts,” he said. Rather “that’s exactly when it begins!”

A healthy family life, he said, absolutely requires frequent use of three phrases: “May I? Thank you, and I’m sorry.”
People need to be more attentive to how they treat each other, he said. They must trade in their heavy “mountain boots” for greater delicacy when walking into someone else’s life.
Love isn’t tough or aggressive, he said, it’s courteous and kind, and in a world that is “often violent and aggressive, we need much more courtesy.”
Couples also need the strength to recognize when they’ve done wrong and ask forgiveness. The “instinct” to accuse someone else “is at the heart of so many disasters,” starting with Adam, who ate the forbidden fruit. When God asked him if he did it, the pope said, Adam immediately passes the blame saying, “‘Uh, no, it was that one over there who gave it to me!’ Accusing the other to get out of saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘Pardon me.’”

Obviously, couples will make mistakes and fight, but “never, never, never end the day without making peace,” the pope said.

Love isn’t tough or aggressive, he said, that is “often violent and aggressive, we need much more courtesy.”
Couples also need the strength to recognize when they’ve done wrong and ask forgiveness. The “instinct” to accuse someone else “is at the heart of so many disasters,” starting with Adam, who ate the forbidden fruit. When God asked him if he did it, the pope said, Adam immediately passes the blame saying,  “‘Uh, no, it was that one over there who gave it to me!’ Accusing the other to get out of saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘Pardon me.’”Obviously, couples will make mistakes and fight, but “never, never, never end the day without making peace,” the pope said.
An eloquent speech isn’t necessary, he said, but things must be set right because if they aren’t, the bad feelings inside will become “cold and hard and it will be more difficult to make peace” as time goes on.
Many people can’t imagine or are afraid of a love and marriage that lasts forever because they think love is an emotional-physical feeling or state-of-being, he said. But “love is a relationship, it’s something that grows.”

Pope Francis holds a rose and chocolates thrown by a person in the crowd as he arrives for an audience for engaged couples in St. Peter’s Square

Pope Francis gives marriage tips to 20,000 engaged couples on St. Valentine's Day

  (This is worthy reading!)