During the events surrounding the canonization of the two Popes, the link to the notion of family is clear, as seen through the testimony of two cardinals.
According to the homily of Angelo Cardinal Comastri at the mass of thanksgiving for the canonization, the life of Saint John Paul II “was a continual obedience to the Gospel of Jesus: for this he was loved.” It was from his sanctity that John Paul II’s courage came to “openly proclaim faith in Jesus in an age of silent apostasy by mankind that lives as if God did not exist,” and thus to “defend the family, which is a work of God written clearly in the book of life.” His commitment was seen even while there was “public aggression toward the institution of the family” against the designs of the Creator.
Pope Francis confided that he “had seen the hand of God” in the decision to dedicate the next two synods to the theme of the family taking place in 2014 and 2015. This was according to Philipe Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon: “It is not surprising at all that the Pope has entrusted the work of the synods on the family to the intercession of the two new pontiff saints, so that it will carried out with docility to the Holy Spirit”. Regarding these two events, we must be “united in prayer as the stakes are very high.” This is the personal experience of Cardinal Barbarin, living in France where the process of secularization has brought the country to the point of “considering as fundamental rights of the person” the approval of laws against life and family. It was however comforting to see the “significant testimony rendered by the French Catholics” who have recently expressed themselves through large protests where the element of prayer was central. For a believer, the Cardinal is convinced “there are truths that cannot be undermined by a parliamentary majority. If there is a definitive anthropological foundation, this endures forever.”