Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Vatican 2015
8th World Meeting of Families

The 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia takes place during a particularly important moment in the life of the Church, also at a time when Pope Francis has placed special attention on the theme of the family. "Today, we are called to acknowledge how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family, to be a family today; and how indispensable the family is for the life of the world and for the future of humanity. We are called to make known God’s magnificent plan for the family and to help spouses joyfully experience this plan in their lives, as we accompany them amidst so many difficulties with a pastoral care that is sound, courageous and full of love" (Opening address of Pope Francis, Extraordinary Consistory on the Family, February 2014). The gathering in Philadelphia includes the participation of members of other churches, Christian communities, as well as other religions, and calls on everyone to be committed to listening to each other and working together as one, great human family. The Philatelic Office will celebrate the meeting with the issue of a 2.30 euro postage stamp on a sheet of ten. The work is by artist Chiara Principe, who features three families of different ethnic groups on a globe, and in the background a skyline of Philadelphia skyscrapers with the city’s famous Liberty Bell, a symbol most often associated with the American Revolution. On 8 July 1776 the sound of that bell was said to have brought out the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.