Address of Pope Francis to the Faithful of Krakow
“May I?”, “Thank you” and “I’m sorry”
POPE Francis, continuing the tradition established by St. John Paul II, appeared at the window of the archbishopric of Krakow to greet the faithful gathered in the square, which included many newly-wed couples. The Pope addressed them in his native Spanish since many of those present were able to understand or speak the language.
“When I meet someone who is getting married … I say to them, ‘You are the ones who have courage!’ Because it is not easy to form a family, not easy to commit your life for ever; it takes courage. And I am proud that you are courageous”, he said.
“Sometimes people ask me what to do so that our families can go on and overcome difficulties. I suggest to them to use three words, three words which express three attitudes … three words which can help you to live out your married life, because in married life there are difficulties. Marriage is something so beautiful and so wonderful that we have to look after it, because it is for ever. And the three words are: ‘May I?’, ‘Thank you’, and ‘I’m sorry’. ‘May I?’: always ask your spouse, wife to husband and husband to wife, ‘What do you think? What shall we do?’. Never trample on the other. ‘May I?’”.
“The second word: be appreciative. How many times the husband needs to say to his wife, ‘Thank you’. And how many times the wife must say to her husband, ‘Thank you’. Thank each other, because the sacrament of marriage is conferred by the two spouses, one to the other. This sacramental relationship is maintained with gratitude. ‘Grazie’”.
“The third word is ‘I’m sorry’. It is a very difficult word to say. In marriage there is always some misunderstanding between husband and wife. Knowing how to recognise that and to apologise, to ask forgiveness, does a lot of good. [Here] there are young families, newly-weds, many of you are married, others are about to get married: remember these three words, which have helped so much in married life: ‘May I?’, ‘Thank you’, and ‘I’m sorry’.
“All this is very good, and it is very good to say this in married life. There are always problems and arguments in married life. It is normal for husband and wife to argue and to raise their voices, they squabble, and even plates go flying! So do not be afraid of this when it happens. May a give you a piece of advice: never end the day without making peace. And do you know why? Because the ‘cold war’ the next day is very dangerous. ‘And how can I do this, Father, how can I make peace?’, some of you may ask. You don’t need speeches, just a gesture is enough, and it is all over, and peace is established. When there is love, a gesture puts everything right”.
“I invite you, before the blessing, to pray for all the families present here, for newly-weds, for those who have already been married for some time and know what I am saying to you, and for those who will get married. Let us pray together a Hail Mary together, each in his or her own language”.
After praying the Hail Mary together, the Pope asked the young couples in Italian to pray for him.
This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990