In Valentine’s Day Service, Pope Francis Tells Thousands of Young Couples to Base Their Marriages on ‘the Rock of God’s Love’

Pope Francis meets a couple in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on February 14, 2014. (AP)
Pope Francis meets a couple in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on February 14, 2014. (AP)

In a gesture toward the romance of Valentine’s Day, Pope Francis on Friday gave his advice on how to have a happy marriage before thousands of young engaged couples.

The unprecedented event, held under brilliant winter sunshine in a packed St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, may reflect Francis’ desire to be closer to ordinary people’s lives.

Three couples were able to put their own questions directly to the Pontiff before being blessed.

His answers were shared with the 25,000 or so people from around the world spread out in the square before him.

The first young couple to speak explained how they had decided to get married. “We didn’t want to give in to the easy way of not committing,” the man said.

The couple asked the Pontiff to give them his advice on how to make a lasting marriage.

Francis, himself committed to lifelong celibacy as a Catholic priest, said that many people are afraid these days to make “definite decisions” and long-lasting choices — but that it can be done.

Don’t be afraid to marry’

“Today, everything is changing rapidly and nothing lasts for long. This sort of mentality leads so many who are getting ready for marriage to say they will be together for as long as love lasts,” which can lead to divorce, he said.

Love has to be built together, he said, not alone. “To build such a thing means to help your love grow,” he said.

“Dear engaged people, you are getting ready to grow together, to build a home, to live together for good. Do not just base it on those feelings that come and go, but on the rock of true love that comes from God,” he said.

Francis also took to Twitter to encourage those who are in love to take the plunge and tie the knot.

“Dear young people, don’t be afraid to marry. A faithful and fruitful marriage will bring you happiness,” he said on his official @Pontifex account.

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SOURCE:  Laura Smith-Spark
CNN

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