Action for Valentine's Day -- Stressing the Reality of Marriage


World Marriage Day
2nd Sunday in February
Explain the Reality of Marriage

In 1993, his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day, which is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of February. The USCCB has encouraged this celebration as a way of supporting their mission to promote the reality of marriage, their top priority for 2011. It comes just before Valentine's Day, a traditional time to celebrate love, friendship, and romance. In addition, Valentine's Day is becoming a day for politics and contention. The media will be full of reports of same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses across the country, advocating that marriage be redefined as merely a committed relationship for the benefit of adults. However, this is a reminder that events provide educational opportunities.

As part of rebuilding a marriage culture, it is important for you and fellow parishioners to create events and opportunities to help people, especially children, develop an understanding of the reality of marriage -- a reality that has become obscured by modern culture. It is important that we learn how to witness this reality in ways that people in the secular culture can understand.

A growing number of parishes are starting to have Liturgies or other events to recognize married couples and the contributions they make to their communities. Some are doing this to celebrate World Marriage Day (See reading for Sunday, February 13). At the same time, we join in Pope Benedict XVI’s February prayer intention asking, “That all may respect the family and recognize it for its unmatched contribution to the advancement of society.”

The Stand with Children campaign is providing materials that can be used at marriage recognition events to explain the reality of marriage in a profound way. Is your parish planning a marriage recognition event? Is your organization? Please discuss this with your pastor, or fellow CCG team members and parishioners. Consider having a recognition event at home around the dinner table on Valentine’s Day or on anniversaries of family members. It is important for the entire family to celebrate and develop a solid understanding of the reality of marriage that can be communicated widely in the culture.

Our Marriage Recognition Kit, to the left, provides you, your pastor, or your organization with the resources for your celebration.

As you read the essay, think of new ways of expressing the reality of marriage and share it with a friend or family member. For example you might share how the commitment of a man and a woman to make themselves irreplaceable to each other in marriage begins the circle of irreplaceability that we know as family or kinship.

Make sure friends and family members know that the best way to define the reality of marriage is by what it does -- marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children that result from their union.

Copyright © 2004–2012 Catholics for the Common Good®
Permission granted for use of content with attribution to