Pope Francis Issues Video Message Ahead Of Ireland Visit

Pope Francis has issued a video message ahead of his visit to Ireland this weekend.

In the message he expressed his excitement at returning to Ireland, after previously visiting in 1980 to spend three weeks with the Jesuit community in Milltown, Dublin.

The Pope will attend events in Dublin and Mayo over the weekend to celebrate the World Meeting of Families festival.

He said: "As I prepare to visit Ireland in a few days' time for the World Meeting of Families, I send a warm word of greeting to all the Irish people.

"I am excited at the thought of returning to Ireland!

"As you know, the World Meeting is a celebration of the beauty of God's plan for the family. It is also an occasion for families from all over the world to meet and support one another in living out their special vocation.

"Families today face many challenges in their efforts to embody faithful love, to bring up children with sound values and to be a leaven of goodness, love and mutual concern in the larger community. You know all this.

"I hope that this festival will be a source of renewed encouragement to families everywhere, especially those families that will be present in Dublin.

"May it remind us all of the essential place of the family in the life of society and in the building of a better future for today's young people.

"Young people are the future! It is very important to prepare them for the future, preparing them today, in the present, but also rooted in the past: young people and grandparents. This is very important."

The World Meeting of Families officially opened at the RDS in Dublin yesterday, 22 August, with 37,000 people expected to attend the event throughout the week.

Pope Francis' full video message is available below:


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