Pope Francis

Pope Francis reflects on the loss of a family member

29/06/2015 7:20 pm

Pope Francis greets pilgrims and tourists at a Wednesday General Audience in St Peter's Square

Pope Francis, in a reflection given at his weekly Wednesday audience, offered a meditation on the loss of a family member, the pain and suffering it brings, and the duty we have to comfort and console those who mourn.

Given in St Peter's Square on 17 June 2015 as part of his on-going teaching on family life.

Official English Summary

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our ongoing catechesis on the family, I wish to reflect on one of the more dramatic and painful events that every person, without exception, has to deal with, namely, the death of a family member.

Jesus has compassion on those who mourn, as today’s Scripture reading reminds us, because the death of a loved one is never without pain for families; this is especially true of parents who lose a child. Jesus’ presence with the widow at Na’in assures us that he is with us in our darkest moments and that he is with us in our loss and mourning.

Through faith in him, in his Resurrection and his abiding presence, we can face our loss, “the sting of death”, as Saint Paul calls it, make sense of it, and have confidence that death does not have the last word.

May we, with Christ-like tenderness and compassion, know how to be close and offer consolation to families suffering the loss of a loved one.

Above all, may we always be witnesses to the love which Christ revealed through his cross and resurrection, a love stronger than death. Let us also be grateful for our faith in him, which is the only adequate response to our deepest needs in the face of the death of a loved one.


Adapted from an article on news.va