It was definitely a unique experience. With more than 12,000 engaged couples,Pope Francis gave them all some advice on what it takes to make a marriage work.
First, using some symbolism, he said couples must be willing to become jewelers.
“Marriage is also a daily job. We could even say it’s like craftsmanship. In a way it’s like being a goldsmith, because a husband makes his wife more of a woman, and she in turn should make her husband a better man. Growing together in their humanity, as man and woman.”
But unlike any other job, marriage is a life long commitment. But this shouldn’t scare couples, said the Pope. It’s something they work on together, day by day.
“Love is something that comes about. It’s a reality that grows. As an example, we could even say that it’s like building a home. You build a home together, not alone!”
He then added you can’t base a marriage on just feelings. Rather it must be based on something concrete.
“You can’t base a marriage on feelings that come and go. Bur rather on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God.”
A good marriage, he said, isn’t just a marriage that lasts. It’s also about quality.
“It’s not just about having a marriage that lasts. The quality of the marriage is also important.”
You can’t forget to pray. The Pope the couples some advice, based on the ‘Our Father’ prayer.
“When we pray the ‘Our Father’ we say: Give us this day our daily Bread. When it comes to marriage, we can say: Give us this day, our daily love.”
Being in love means saying three phrases more often than not. They are: May I? thank you and I’m sorry.”
“May I? This is the polite way of joining someone’s life, with respect and attention. Do we know how to say thank you? As engaged couples and soon as a married couple, it’s important to acknowledge that your spouse is a gift from God. When you receive a gift from God, you say Thank You.’”
But the Pope also gave a warning: Nobody is perfect. So the key to happiness, he said, is forgiveness.
“We all know there is no such thing as the perfect family or a perfect husband or wife. I won’t even mention a perfect mother in law…It’s us who do exist, sinners. Jesus knows us well and He tells us a secret: Never let the day end, without apologizing.”
Part of talking about marriage, is planning the wedding itself. The Pope gave some advice about making the day unforgettable.
“Make sure it’s an authentic celebration, because marriage is a celebration. It’s a Christian celebration, not a worldly one. Imagine having a party sipping some tea? No way, without wine there’s no party.”
So his tips include, love, patience, understanding and prayer. Once you say ‘I do’ said the Pope, you can’t cross your arms and wait. Because marriage is work…. and a life long commitment.