According to Pope Francis, families need moments of rest and celebration, time for standing back and recognizing the gifts of God.
A Tuscany priest is offering a baby bonus of more than $2,000 to Italian Catholic families who have three or more children. But there are strings attached.
Through numerous speeches and homilies, Pope Francis has been offering concrete and, at times, colorful advice on the topic of family.
Young Voices: Every family is an idiosyncratic web of characters and influence, even the ones with both a loving mother and a loving father.
Christian hope and faith in the afterlife mean the sting of losing a loved one does not have to leave behind a poisonous venom in our lives, Pope Francis said.
"Our loved ones have not disappeared into dark nothingness: Hope assures us that that they are in God's good and strong hands. Love is stronger than death," he said at his general audience Wednesday.
As part of a series of talks about the family and problems they face, the pope looked at death, particularly the loss of a close family member.
The closer two people are to each other, the more care is required in respecting the other's freedom and feelings, Pope Francis said.
Even Jesus knocks at the door of a person's heart awaiting permission to enter, he said Wednesday at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
"Intimacy does not authorize you to take everything for granted," he said, starting a series of audience talks he said would look at the "real life" of families today.
The Francis Chronicles: When their lives are all work and no play, men turn their children into "orphans" who lack a father to guide them, Pope Francis said.
During a meeting with families, the pope praised his predecessor Paul VI, who wrote Humane Vitae and "had the strength to defend openness to life."
Mothers are indispensable to society and the church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, Pope Francis said.
Speaking to some 4,000 people gathered indoors for his general audience Wednesday, the pope continued his series of talks about the family, but also gave a second talk about beauty and harmony when he thanked a group of circus performers at the end of the audience.
Faith and Justice: Divorce is a sad reality with multiple and varied causes. Blaming the victims is no solution. No one gets married just so they can get a divorce.