Chapter 28. Fourth Commandment: Strengthen Your Family • 375
and those who endure the death of a child or a spouse. Luigi and Maria
had their share of troubles and handled them with courage and faith.
Addressing the married couples at the beatification, the Holy Father
asked them to learn from the example of Maria and Luigi, “as you face dif-
ficulties and trials in being faithful to your vocation, in cultivating conjugal
and family harmony, in carrying out the mission of parents and participat-
ing in the life of society.” Luigi died in 1951, Maria in 1965.
Luigi and Maria lived their ordinary life in an extraordinary way. They
centered their life on the daily Eucharist. They also had a strong devotion
to the Virgin Mary, to whom they prayed every evening. They met regularly
with their spiritual director. Their fidelity to the Gospel and their heroic vir-
tues were verified in their lives as spouses and parents. Their prayers and
example can guide us in our reflection on the Fourth Commandment.
THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
Marriage and family are ordered to the good of the
spouses, to the procreation and education of children.
. . . Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just
obedience, and assistance.
—CCC, nos. 2249, 2251
The first three Commandments help us to understand how to love God
with our whole selves. The next seven Commandments teach us how to
love each other as we love ourselves.
The Fourth Commandment deals with all aspects of family life—
parental and filial duties and responsibilities, that is, those of love from
child to parent. This includes the duties of children toward their parents,
the duties of brothers and sisters toward each other, and the responsibili-
ties of adult children toward their older parents. This Commandment
also addresses the duties of government and the duties of citizens
(cf. CCC, nos. 2234-2246), including the responsibility of the state and