Pope meets Equipes Notre Dame movement

Francis encourages activist couples to spread family love

(ANSA) - Vatican City, September 10 - Pope Francis met on Thursday with leaders of the Equipes Notre Dame movement for married couples which began in France in the 1930s and has since spread to countries around the world.
    Greeting the lay men and women, together with the priests who support and advise them, the Pope noted their encounter comes just ahead of the Synod on the Family which will reflect the increasing attention the Church pays to families as the basic building block of society.
    In particular Pope Francis spoke of the missionary role of married men and women who are best placed to witness the love of Christ to other families, as well as "to support, strengthen and encourage them" on their journey of faith.
    The pope urged all the couples to put into practice the spirituality of their movement and to encourage prayer within families, a tradition which has "unfortunately been abandoned in many parts of the world". He also spoke of the monthly moments of dialogue which the movement promotes as a "precious time of thanksgiving, forgiveness and reciprocal respect" for husbands and wives to share with each other.