Pope Francis received members of the Équipes Notre-Dame (Teams of Our Lady) in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on September 10 and emphasized the “missionary role” of married couples.
Begun in the 1930s by Father Henri Caffarel and formally established in 1947, Équipes Notre-Dame is an international Catholic movement for married couples that is present in 48 nations, according to the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
The Pontiff encouraged the association’s members to follow its spirituality in the midst of a “frenetic and agitated world impregnated with individualism.” In discussing the missionary role of spouses, Pope Francis said that “the family– as God wills it, composed of a man and a woman in view of the good of the spouses and also of the generation and education of children– is deformed by means of powerful opposing projects sustained from ideological colonization.”
“Never forget that your conjugal fidelity is a gift from God, and that to each of us mercy has been shown,” the Pope continued, adding:
A united and happy couple can understand better than anyone else, as from the inside, the wound and the suffering that an abandonment, a betrayal, a failure of love cause. It is necessary, therefore, that you be able to bring your testimony and your experience to help the Christian community to discern the concrete situations of these persons, to welcome them with their wounds, and to help them to journey in the faith and in the truth, under the gaze of Christ the Good Shepherd, to take part in an appropriate manner in the life of the Church.