Pope Benedict said on June 8 that he hopes his visit to Croatia this past weekend “will bear plentiful fruit for Croatian families, the entire nation and throughout Europe.”
The Pope said at the Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square that the June 4-5 visit was characterized by what he called “an intense spirit of faith.” In today's appraisal of the trip, he said that he primarily wanted to highlight his message to families delivered at the first annual Croatian National Family Day on Sunday morning.
In an era of divorce and separation, the Pope said that “the loyalty of spouses has become in itself a significant sign of the love of Christ.” He described this witness as “the first education in the faith” by which “children learn, without anything being said, that God is love, loyal, patient, respectful and generous.”
“Faith in the God, who is love, is mainly transmitted through the testimony of a faithful conjugal love, which obviously translates into love for children, the fruit of such a union.”
Pope Benedict also recalled with affection his gathering with over 50,000 youngsters in Zagreb’s Ban Jelacic Square on Saturday night.
“There I was able to meet the new Croatian generation, and I felt the full force of their young faith, animated by a great eagerness for life and its meaning, for the good, for freedom, that is to say for God.”