See this online text:
- “Allocution to the Italian Association of Large Families”, by the Venerable Pope Pius XII, January 20, 1958. Under the title “The Large Family”, from The Pope Speaks (Spring 1958), it may be read online on this page of Catholic Culture.
- Excerpts of the address may be found in “Family”, a collection of statements of the magisterium, on this page of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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“Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb.” (Psalm cxxvii, 3 Douay-Rheims)
“God Himself… wishing to share with man a certain special participation in His own creative work, blessed male and female, saying: “Increase and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). Hence… the true practice of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of the family life which results from it, have this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Savior. Who through them will enlarge and enrich His own family day by day.
Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love…
Thus, trusting in divine Providence and refining the spirit of sacrifice, married Christians glorify the Creator and strive toward fulfillment in Christ when with a generous human and Christian sense of responsibility they acquit themselves of the duty to procreate. Among the couples who fulfil their God-given task in this way, those merit special mention who with a gallant heart and with wise and common deliberation, undertake to bring up suitably even a relatively large family.” (Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution “Gaudium et spes” on the Church in the Modern World, 7 December 1965)