Video Message of Pope Francis for start of WMOF2018

Pope Francis issues video message ahead of his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families 2018

‘I am excited at the thought of returning to Ireland!’ – Pope Francis

Pope Francis has released a message to the people of Ireland ahead of the opening of the ninth World meeting of Families across Ireland this evening.

In his message Pope Francis offers a warm word of greeting to the Irish people and shares his hopes that the meeting, taking place from 21-26 August, will be a source of encouragement for families.

The full text of the message, released in video format is available below.  To watch the video please see link below.

Text of the video message of the Holy Father Pope Francis ahead of his Apostolic Journey to Ireland:


“Dear Friends,

“As I prepare to visit Ireland in a few days’ time for the World Meeting of Families, I send a warm word of greeting to all the Irish people.  I am excited at the thought of returning to Ireland!

“As you know, the World Meeting is a celebration of the beauty of God’s plan for the family.  It is also an occasion for families from all over the world to meet and support one another in living out their special vocation.  Families today face many challenges in their efforts to embody faithful love, to bring up children with sound values and to be a leaven of goodness, love and mutual concern in the larger community.  You know all this.

“I hope that this festival will be a source of renewed encouragement to families everywhere, especially those families that will be present in Dublin.  May it remind us all of the essential place of the family in the life of society and in the building of a better future for today’s young people.  Young people are the future! It is very important to prepare them for the future, preparing them today, in the present, but also rooted in the past: young people and grandparents.  This is very important.

“Although the specific reason for my Visit to Ireland is the World Meeting of Families, I would like to include all the members of the Irish family.  In a particular way, I pray that it may further the growth of unity and reconciliation among all Christ’s followers, as a sign of that lasting peace which is God’s dream for our whole human family.

“I know that many people are working hard to prepare for my Visit, and I thank all of them from my heart.  I ask everyone to pray that this great festival will be a moment of joy and serenity, a caress of Jesus’ tender love for all families, and indeed, for all God’s children.  I assure you of my closeness in prayer, and I would ask you to pray for me.  From my heart, I send you my blessing.

“May God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless you all!”

End of message


Click here to access the video message which is provided in Italian with English subtitles [please observe 7.00pm local time embargo].


Notes to Editors

Dublin, Ireland, has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the 9th World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August 2018, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.  Held every three years, this major international event brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church.  Whilst WMOF2018 will include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, events around the city, gestures of solidarity, it has at its heart the following key moments:

  • Firstly, a National Opening of World Meeting of Families will take place simultaneously in the twenty-six dioceses on the island of Ireland this evening [Tuesday 21 August];
  • Secondly, from 22 to 24 August, a three-day Pastoral Congress will take place in the RDS, Dublin and will include entail a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions centred on the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.  The Congress will also offer an engaging programme for young people to include faith and fun activities for children;
  • Thirdly, a Festival of Families will be held on Saturday 25 August 2018 in Croke Park, Dublin.  This will involve a cultural concert within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, during which personal stories of faith will be shared by families, each representing the five continents.  Pope Francis will be present for this event; and,
  • Fourthly, the Closing Mass for WMOF2018 which will take place at the Papal Cross in the heart of the Phoenix Park in Dublin on the afternoon of Sunday 26th August.  The Mass will begin at 3.00pm.  This is a solemn Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday 26 August which will involve thousands of pilgrims from Ireland and around the world in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.  Pope Francis will be principal celebrant of this Mass.  Tickets for Phoenix Park will be issued by email as a ‘print at home’ ticket by 31 July.

Pope Francis will also visit Knock Shrine on the morning of Sunday 26th August to pray for families and the WMOF2018

Families from 116 countries have started to arrive to Ireland to participate in WMOF2018 Pastoral Congress, which is taking place in the RDS, Dublin, from Wednesday 22 August to Friday 24 August. WMOF2018 will welcome a record setting 37,000 participants throughout the three days, with 6,500 of participants under the age of 18 and 15,000 overseas pilgrims registered to attend.

For media information contact: Brenda Drumm, Media and Communications Manager, WMOF2018 on 00353 (0) 87 310 4444; World Meeting of Families 2018 press office at RDS on 00353 1 241 7268.