In our catechesis on marriage and the family, today we reflect on the importance of engagement as a preparation for marriage. The word “engagement” itself speaks of entrustment and commitment. Engagement is a time when couples come to know one another better in planning for the beautiful yet demanding enterprise of marriage. Love itself demands this preparation, which makes possible a free, generous and sober decision to enter into a life-long covenant of love. 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.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from Great Britain, Switzerland, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you all!