Pope Francis declared 2021 a special year dedicated to the family to mark the fifth anniversary of his apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia.
“It will be a year of reflection on ‘Amoris laetitia’ and it will be an opportunity to focus more closely on the contents of the document,” said the pontiff during Angelus on Sunday, Dec. 26.
“These reflections will be made available to ecclesial communities and families, to accompany them on their journey,” he added.
Pope Francis noted that on March 19, 2021, the Church will mark five years since the signing of “Amoris laetitia” following the synods on the family in 2014 and 2015.
The pope’s announcement followed his proclamation of a year dedicated to St. Joseph, which began on Dec. 8 and will conclude on Dec. 8, 2021.
Pope Francis released the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) on April 8, 2016, although it was signed on March 19 in the same year.
One of the longest documents in papal history, it consists of an introduction and nine chapters, reflecting on challenges to marriage and family life.
In a press statement, the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life said the newly proclaimed year would be known officially as the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family.”
“The pandemic experience has highlighted the central role of the family as the domestic Church and has shown the importance of community ties between families, which make the Church an authentic ‘family of families,’” it read.
The dicastery also announced the creation of a new website, www.amorislaetitia.va, dedicated to the year, which will begin on March 19, 2021, and end on June 26, 2022, with the celebration of the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome.