Pope Francis: To honour one’s parents, follow the saints

Pope Francis: To honour one’s parents, follow the saints

There are many saints who demonstrate that even if one comes from a difficult childhood, or does not have good parents, hope can still be found in Christ and the mission received from him, Pope Francis said today. The commandment to honour father and mother “can be constructive for many young people who come from stories of pain and for all those who have suffered in their youth”, the Pontiff said.

“Many saints – and many Christians – after a painful childhood lived a bright life, because, thanks to Jesus Christ, they were reconciled with life,” he said, pointing to the example of Bl. Nunzio Sulprizio, who died at 19 from bone cancer after being orphaned at a very young age. Bl. Sulprizio will be canonised in Rome on October 14 during the Synod of Bishops on young people.

The wounds of one’s young life have the potential to be transformed, by grace, when it is discovered “that God has prepared us for a life of his children, where every act is a mission received from him,” Francis said.

The Pope’s general audience catechesis on the theme of the Ten Commandments continued with a reflection on the commandment “to honour thy father and mother”.

Looking back on one’s childhood, especially if it was difficult, “we discover that the real mystery is no longer ‘why?’ [something happened] but ‘for whom?’ For whom did this happen to me,” Francis asked. This is when people can begin to honour their parents “with the freedom of adult children and with merciful acceptance of their limits”.

Adding comments off-the-cuff, he asked those present, if they are not currently close with their parents, if they would consider returning to a relationship with them. He also told children they should never insult their parents or the parents of others.


Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency (CNA)