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Continuing his catechesis on the family, Pope Francis devoted his May 27 general audience to engagement as a preparation for marriage.

“Engagement is a time when couples come to know one another better in planning for the beautiful yet demanding enterprise of marriage,” Pope Francis said, according to the Vatican’s official English-language summary of his remarks that were read out at the conclusion of the audience.

“Love itself demands this preparation, which makes possible a free, generous and sober decision to enter into a lifelong covenant of love,” he continued. “For this reason the Church stresses the importance of the period of engagement by offering courses of marriage preparation. With the help of Christian married couples, fiancés are challenged to reflect together on their love, their future and the importance of faith and prayer in the life they are about to share.”

“Let us pray for young people looking forward to marriage, that they will prepare for the wedding day not in a worldly or banal way, but with the wisdom, hope and joy born of their faith in Christ,” the Pope added.  www.catholicculture.org