The Pontifical Council for the Family, founded by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1981, is responsible for the promotion of the Church’s pastoral ministry to the family, with the goal of helping Christian families fulfill their apostolic mission as the “domestic church” and fundamental building bloc of society. This Council promotes the pastoral care of families and fosters their rights and dignity in the Church as well as civil society in order that they may fulfill their vocation for the well-being of one another and the world around them. It began in 1994; the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe. This event takes place every three years and is sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family.
1994 was declared an “International Year of the Family” by the United Nations. Pope John Paul II wanted the Church to also celebrate this Year of the Family, and so the 1st World Meeting of Families was held. It took place in Rome on 8 and 9 October 1994 under the guidance of the Pontifical Council for the Family who went on to organize all subsequent WMFs.
The World Meeting of Families is a gathering of the Roman Catholic Church that has occurred every three years since 1994.The Christian Family: Good News for the Third Millennium.Pope Francis has chosen this theme for the next World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Rome in June 2022. “Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.” As the announcement from the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life reads: “On the fifth anniversary of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia and three years after the promulgation of Gaudete et Exsultate, this is intended to highlight family love as a vocation and as a way of holiness, so as to understand and share the profound and salvific meaning of family relationships in daily life.”
2nd International World meeting of Families was held in 1997 at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
3rd International World meeting of Families was held in 2000 at Rome Italy.
4th International World Meeting of Families was held in 2003 at Manila, Philippines.
5th International World Meeting of Families was held in 2006 Valencia, Spain.
6th International World Meetings of Families was held in 2009 Mexico City, Mexico .
7th International World Metting of Families was held in 2012 Milan,Italy.
8th International World Meeting of Families was held in 2015 Philadelphia, United States.
9th International World Meeting of Families was held in 2018 Dublin, Ireland.
10th International World Meeting of Families will be held in 2022 Rome, Italy.