National Marriage Week takes place February 7-14, 2023 and World Marriage Day on Sunday, February 12.  These events, promoted by the Bishops of the United States, provide an opportunity to celebrate the vocation of marriage and to focus on the importance of family life. This year’s theme: “Called to the Joy of Love”

The Christian proclamation on the family is good news indeed!

God’s plan for marriage and family life corresponds to the deepest desires of men and women for lasting happiness and true joy.  As sons and daughters of God, we are made for love, for God is love. The family, whose mission is “to guard, reveal and communicate love,” is the common place where God’s love is first experienced and the joy of love is made present.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, reminds us that, “The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.”

The Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church gives us this beautiful definition of marriage:

“In the Holy Mystery   of Marriage …, the Christian receives the grace of the Holy Spirit for the building up of the Church, the Body of Christ.  In the Holy Mystery of Marriage, the Church blesses a man and woman called by Christ to create a domestic church —a Christian family.”

“The family union created by marriage is a community of persons which, according to God’s plan, is an icon of the relationship of the Persons of the Most Holy Trinity.”

Our joy of love in married and family life come from our encounter, our relationship with Jesus.

As we commemorate the sanctity of the gift of marriage, we ask the blessings of Almighty God to fall afresh upon all of our married couples and their families.  We ask God to strengthen, guide and protect you today and always.

-Office of Family and Sanctity of Life

Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma