The Pontifical Council for the Family instituted by blessed John Paul II with the Motu Proprio “Familia a Deo instituta” on May 13th, 1981 the day of the assassination attempt in St Peter's Square replaced the Committee for the Family created by Paul VI in 1973.

The Pontifical Council for the Family is responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, through the application of the teachings and guidelines of the Church’s Magisterium. Thus, Christian families can be helped as they accomplish their educational and apostolic mission in response to the realization of the Gospel of the family in the modern world.

Since 1994, the Year of the Family, the Dicastery is responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families: Rome 1994; Rio de Janeiro 1997; Rome 2000, in the framework of the Jubilee of Families; Manila 2003; Valencia (Spain) in 2006; Mexico City 2009 and Milan (Italy) in 2012. The next World Meeting of Families will be held in September 2015 in Philadelphia, USA.

In this year of reflection and prayer on the family wanted by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Council is pleased to present the prestigious project "Il Grande Mistero. The Gospel of Family, School of Humanity for our Times," which has been made possible thanks to the generosity and sensitivity of Maestro Andrea Bocelli, who, along with us, has truly desired it.

The Pontifical Council has always known how to move within fields that are fascinating and engaging for all: that of love between man and woman, and of the family relationships that follow. Yet, we are not hiding in the face of today’s difficulties, which represent a kind of historical, almost epoch-making transition. Of course, the family also had problems in the past, but never has the original network that unites marriage, family and life been questioned as it now is.

With “Il Grande Mistero,” we want to draw the attention of all the women and men of our time to the original beauty that still emanates from this original network, which today is sometimes forgotten, fragmented, or superficially put into question.

The stakes are high: man's very humanity, with its intrinsic driving force in the rediscovery of this inexhaustible treasure of gifts: the family—as we learn, first of all, from our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, who wanted a family just like all the others, with a real father and a true mother. The challenge awaiting us is above all cultural, and it must be faced on that ground. Now, what could—better than music and its charismatic performers—reawaken people’s attention and taste for the decisive human society: the family, and the love on which it is founded?

Music is never aloof. It always communicates with our lives, and especially with the Word. "Sing a new song to the Lord," says the psalmist (Psalm 95:1). This song is new because we want to renew the salt of the earth of family relationships, which today are so often mistreated.

Music and the Word have joined forces to prepare a beautiful banquet to which we would like to invite every man and woman, regardless of their condition, choices or religious affiliation, so that with us they may unceasingly taste the goodness, beauty and truth brought by love and embodied in the family.

H.E. Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia