3 Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Pope Francis

Valentine's Day at the Vatican

With wedding season in full swing, we would like to share the pope’s marriage advice with readers preparing for the sacrament.


Earlier this year, Pope Francis’ St. Valentine’s Day audience held over 10,000 young couples engaged to be married.

One couple sent a question to the Pope, which he addressed during the audience: “Many feel that the challenge of living together forever is beautiful, enchanting, but very demanding, almost impossible. We ask your word to enlighten us on this.”


The Holy Father advised the couples that the secret for a successful marriage can be boiled down to three simple concepts: permission, thanks and forgiveness.



PLEASE. “Please – May I? We must learn to ask: May I do this? Would you like that we do this? We take this initiative, and that we bring up our children like this. Would you like to go out tonight? … In short, to ask for agreement is to enter the lives of others with courtesy. But keep this in mind: to be able to enter into the lives of others with courtesy. It is not easy, it is not easy. Sometimes instead, the manners can be a bit heavy, like hiking boots!”


Quoting St. Francis, the Pope said, “‘Know that courtesy is one of the properties of God … and courtesy is the sister of charity, which extinguishes hate and protects love.’ Yes, courtesy protects love. And today in our families, in our world, which is often violent and arrogant, we need much more courtesy. And this can begin at home.”



THANK YOU. “It seems easy to say the word, but we know that is not always so … But it’s important! We teach it to the children, but then we forget it ourselves! Gratitude is an important quality. An old woman once said to me in Buenos Aires: ‘Gratitude is a flower that grows in the noble land.’ Nobility of the soul is necessary to grow this flower.


“Remember the Gospel of Luke?” He continued. “Jesus heals ten who are sick with leprosy, and then only one returns to say thanks to Jesus. The Lord says, and the other nine, where are they? This is also true for us: do we know how to say thanks? In your relationship, and then tomorrow in married life, it is important to keep alive the awareness that the other person is a gift of God, and for the gifts of God to say thank you! And in this inner attitude say thanks to each other for everything. It is not a kind word to use just with strangers, to show you are educated. It is necessary to know how to say thank you, in order to get along well together in married life.”



I AM SORRY, or excuse me. “In life we make so many errors, many mistakes…We learn to recognize our mistakes and apologize. ‘Sorry if I raised my voice today,’ ‘I’m sorry if I went without saying goodbye,’ ‘I’m sorry if I’m late,’ ‘If I have been so unresponsive this week,’ ‘If I talked too much without ever listening,’ ‘Excuse me, I forgot,’ ‘I was angry and I’m sorry I’ve taken it out on you’… This is how a Christian family grows.”


“Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: never end a day without asking for forgiveness, without peace coming back to our house, to our family,” the pope advised. “It is normal that there be a quarrel between husband and wife, but there’s always something to do about it. We had a fight … Maybe you’re angry, maybe a plate flew, but please remember this: never finish the day without making peace! Never, never, never! This is a secret, a secret to protect love and to make peace.”

Pope Francis reminded couples that marriage must be refined and worked over daily, like “craftwork, a goldsmith’s work…Always act so that the other person will grow. Work for this.” The pope concluded this advice by painting a beautiful picture for each of the couples gathered with him, a vision of strong marriage:

“And so, maybe, I think that one day you will go through the streets of your country and people will say: ‘Just look at that woman, so beautiful, so strong! …It’s the husband she has, you know.’ And to you, too: ‘Look at him, what he is like! … It’s the wife he has, you know.’”


A message for the pope in St. Peter's Square: "Thank you, Pope Francis...Happy Valentine's Day!"

A message for the pope in St. Peter’s Square: “Thank you, Pope Francis…Happy Valentine’s Day!”


Celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage with our selection of Catholic wedding and anniversary gift ideas here.







Watch this touching video with more advice to married couples from our Holy Father!


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16 Responses to 3 Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Pope Francis

  1. Frances Castilla says:

    Love this, Thank you Pope Francis.

  2. Judy warren says:

    I love this. This should be included in the pre-marriage lessons.

  3. Jane says:

    Truer words were never spoken. It took me 44 years of marriage to figure this out. Pope Francis is so wise. Thank you!

  4. Cheryl Morgan says:

    Beautiful words. The basis for my 31 years of marriage. Work and respect.

  5. dominga bautista says:

    Thanks for those tips & beautiful words
    Thank you Pope Francis…

  6. dominga bautista says:

    Thanks for those beautiful words & tips
    Thank you Pope Francis..

  7. Kevin says:

    Pope Francis thank you for words of wisdom they are a lesson for life. We love you our Holy Father stand strong and guide us through the darkness.

  8. Helen Okiishi says:

    Thank you Pope Francis.

  9. Thomas Joseph says:

    A very beautiful message to all married persons and to those who are preparing for marriage. If these three secrets are implemented the family life will be successful and the God will live with them.

  10. maria says:

    These are surely the pilars of a Holy marriage. These days in general,we don’t seek to be holy,it’s not “cool”.
    Young people don’t seek it in their lifes,because in general,”modern life”is about seeking OUR HAPPINESS,not giving happiness.
    With these words,we “rediscover” the path for a Holy marriage,not something of miracle,but out of daily work and politeness. Not easy,but not impossible. We have to think about “us”,not “me”.

  11. Diane Brown says:

    Your words of wisdom are pertinent for all the cycles of life. Thank you Pope Francis; you enlighten my world. God Bless You. Amen

  12. I have been married for almost fifty years. That is the first thing the priest told us! Never go to bed mad or angry!!!

  13. Christine Snider says:

    Pope Francis: You are so right and wise in all you say to us. If every couple did what you said in your video, there would be less divorce and more happiness in this world.

  14. Lucio Valeriano Fernandes says:

    Your excellency Pope Francis Thank you. for You are my inspiration. I love You. Remember us in your prayers. God bless You always with His annointing

  15. gina pomida says:

    Thank you Pope Francis.

  16. Pingback: Please. Thank you. I’m Sorry. | Life, Love, & a Dash of Sass

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