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Magisterial Documents: Amoris Laetitia

Magisterial Documents: Amoris Laetitia

Francis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family
March 19, 2016
The full document is available on the internet.

Brief Introduction

Amoris laetitia (The Joy of Love) is a post-synodal apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis. Dated 19 March 2016, it synthesizes the Synods on the Family held in 2014 and 2015. Pope Francis invites the Catholic Church and families in particular, to enter more deeply into the beauty of marriage and Christ's teaching. From Genesis to Revelation, Sacred Scripture speaks eloquently about the joys and challenges of marriage and family life. 

Amoris Laetitia highlights marriage as a vocation to grow in love by becoming a gift of love to one’s spouse and children. In this context, the Holy Father addresses the challenges Christian families meet in the current secular world: loyalty to each other, welcoming and educating children, mutual acceptance of weakness and aging, as well as sexual identity. Notwithstanding these challenges, every marriage is called to reflect Christ’s love for his bride, the church.  Towards this goal, Pope Francis dedicates an entire chapter to the spiritual life of marriage and family life.

Amoris Laetitia acknowledges the crisis of the vocation of matrimony and describes “the Church’s pastoral care for the faithful who are living together, or are only married civilly, or are divorced and remarried” (78).

The exhortation concludes with a Prayer to the Holy Family. 


1-7, The Joy of Love

Chapter One
8, In the Light of the Word
9-13, You and your wife
14-18, Your children are as the shoots of an olive tree
19-22, A path of suffering and blood
 23-26, The work of your hands
 27-30, The tenderness of an embrace

Chapter Two
31, The Experiences and Challenges of Families
32-49, The current reality of the family
50-57, Some challenges

Chapter Three
58-60, Looking to Jesus: The Vocation of the Family
61-66, Jesus restores and fulfils God’s plan
67-70, The family in the documents of the Church
71-75, The sacrament of Matrimony
76-79, Seeds of the Word and imperfect situations
80-85, The transmission of life and the rearing of children
86-88, The family and the Church

Chapter Four
89, Love in Marriage
90, Our daily love
91-92, Love is patient
93-94, Love is at the service of others
95-96, Love is not jealous
97-98, Love is not boastful
99-100, Love is not rude
101-102, Love is generous
103-104, Love is not irritable or resentful
105-108, Love forgives
109-110, Love rejoices with others
111-113, Love bears all things
114-115, Love believes all things
116-117, Love hopes all things
118-119, Love endures all things
120-122, Growing in conjugal love
123-125, Lifelong sharing
126-130, Joy and beauty
131-132, Marrying for love
133-135, A love that reveals itself and increases
136-141, Dialogue
142, Passionate love
143-146, The world of emotions
147-149, God loves the joy of his children
150-152, The erotic dimension of love
153-157, Violence and manipulation
158-162, Marriage and virginity
163-164, The transformation of love

Chapter Five
165, Love Made Fruitful
166-167, Welcoming a new life
168-171, Love and pregnancy
172-177, The love of a mother and a father
178-184, An expanding fruitfulness
185-186, Discerning the body
187, Life in the wider family
188-190, Being sons and daughters
191-193, The elderly
194-195, Being brothers and sisters
196-198, A big heart

Chapter Six
199, Some Pastoral Perspectives
200-204, Proclaiming the Gospel of the family today
205-211, Preparing engaged couples for marriage
212-216, The preparation of the celebration
217-222, Accompanying the first years of married life
223-230, Some resources
231, Casting light on crises, worries and difficulties
232-238, The challenge of crises
239-240, Old wounds
241-246, Accompaniment after breakdown and divorce
247-252, Certain complex situations
253-258, When death makes us feel its sting

Chapter Seven
259, Towards a Better Education of Children
260-262, Where are our children?
263-267, The ethical formation of children
268-270, The value of correction as an incentive
271-273, Patient realism
274-279, Family life as an educational setting
280-286, The need for sex education
287-290, Passing on the faith

Chapter Eight
291-292, Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness
293-295, Gradualness in pastoral care
296-300, The discernment of “irregular” situations
301-303, Mitigating factors in pastoral discernment
304-306, Rules and discernment
307-312, The logic of pastoral mercy

Chapter Nine
313, The Spirituality of Marriage and the Family
314-316, A spirituality of supernatural communion
317-318, Gathered in prayer in the light of Easter
319-320, A spirituality of exclusive and free love
321-325, A spirituality of care, consolation and incentive; Prayer to the Holy Family


© This material has been compiled by Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2017.

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