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By Fr. Mario Alexis Portella, Crisis Magazine, December 18, 2019

Fr. Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He was born in New York and holds a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He is the author of Islam: Religion of Peace?—The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up (Westbow Press, 2018).


Fr. Mario Alexis PortellaDuring the Season of Advent, as we approach the celebration of the Nativity of Our Savior, we should stop to consider that “the first witnesses of Christ’s birth, the shepherds, found themselves not only before the Infant Jesus but also before a small family: mother, father and newborn Son. God had chosen to reveal himself by being born into a human family and the human family thus became an icon of God!” So were the words of Benedict XVI in 2009, recalling as he later did that just as

the Church… is called to be the image of One God in Three Persons [Father, Son and Holy Spirit], so too is the family, which is based on marriage between man and woman. “In the beginning, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Gen 1:27-28).” God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, image of God. ….

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