May is the month when Catholics traditionally focus on Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The practice dates back at least 700 years and is still observed around the world today. May is seen as the beginning of new life and the start of summer, which makes this a logical time for the celebrations of Mary, who brought life into the world.
Marian devotions have sometimes been criticized by people who misunderstand Catholic devotion to Mary the Mother of God. Mary is not worshiped in the way that Catholics worship God. She is honored as the mother of Jesus and as a woman free from sin. Devotions to Mary are an integral part of Catholic life. Read more
The Vatican on Friday published Pope Francis’ eagerly-awaited Apostolic Exhoratation on the family, drawing together almost three years of consultations with Catholics in countries around the world.
The lengthy document, entitled ‘Amoris Laetitia’, or The Joy of Love, affirms the Church’s teaching that stable families are the building blocks of a healthy society and a place where children learn to love, respect and interact with others.
At the same time the text warns against idealizing the many challenges facing family life, urging Catholics to care for, rather than condemning, all those whose lives do not reflect the teaching of the Church.
In particular the document focuses on the need for “personal and pastoral discernment’” for individuals, recognizing that “neither the Synod, nor this Exhortation could be expected to provide a new set of general rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases”.
The text of the official summary of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ or The Joy of Love can be found below. The full, unabridged text, can be found at www.cathdal.org/joyoflove.