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WMOF is the acronym for World Meeting of Families, created by Pope John Paul II in 1994. In fact, that year was declared “International Year of the Family” by the United Nations. Pope Wojtyla also wanted a Year of the Family to be celebrated in the Church at the same time; so the 1st World Meeting of Families was created, which was held in Rome on 8 and 9 October 1994. It was promoted, just like subsequent editions, by the Pontifical Council for the Family; in 2016, this Vatican body was disbanded and merged with the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. A World Meeting of Families has therefore been held since 1994 every three years and in different places around the world. The pattern followed has always been fairly similar, with an international Theological-Pastoral Congress at the start and ending, in the presence of the Pope, with a vigil and Festival of Families along with a great final Eucharistic celebration.

  • 1st World Meeting: 1994, Rome – Italy
  • As part of the Year of the Family “The Family, the Heart of the Civilization of Love”

  • 2nd World Meeting: 1997, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
  • “The Family: Gift and Commitment, the Hope of Humanity”

  • 3rd World Meeting: 2000, Rome – Italy
  • As part of the Great Jubilee of 2000 “Children: Springtime of the Family and Society”

  • 4th World Meeting: 2003, Manila – Philippines
  • “The Christian Family: Good News for the Third Millennium” (Pope John Paul II attended by television link)

  • 5th World Meeting: 2006, Valencia – Spain
  • “Handing on the Faith in the Family”

  • 6th World Meeting: 2009, Mexico City – Mexico
  • “The Family: Teacher of Human and Christian Values” (Pope Benedict XVI attended by television link)

  • 7th World Meeting: 2012, Milan – Italy
  • “Family, Work & Celebration”

  • 8th World Meeting: 2015, Philadelphia – USA
  • “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive”

  • 9th World Meeting: 2018, Dublin - Ireland
  • “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” (the first one coordinated by the new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life)

  • 10th World Meeting: 2022, Rome – Italy
  • “Family Love: a Vocation and a Path to Holiness”