Newlyweds Diego Fernandes and Deni Salgado kiss through protective face masks during their wedding ceremony with only witnesses and no guests in Naples, Italy, March 20, 2020. Public gatherings are banned as part of Italy’s lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (CNS photo/Ciro De Luca, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – While uncertainty in the world may deter young couples from taking the next big step in their relationships, the vocational call to marriage is a risk worth taking, Pope Francis said.

Marriage “is a challenging journey, at times difficult, sometimes even confrontational, but it is worth the risk,” the pope said. “And in this lifelong journey, the husband and wife are not alone: Jesus accompanies them.”

In a video message released by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network June 1, the pope offered his prayer intention for the month of June, which he dedicated to “the beauty of marriage.”

Acknowledging the belief that young people “do not want to get married, especially in these difficult times,” the pope said that marriage and sharing one’s life “is a beautiful thing.”

“Marriage is not just a ‘social’ act,” he said. “It is a vocation that is born from the heart, it is a conscious lifelong decision that requires a specific preparation.”

“Please, never forget! God has a dream for us — love — and he asks us to make it our own,” the pope said.

At the start of each month, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network posts a short video of the pope offering his specific prayer intention.

Reciting his intention, the pope prayed for “young people preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community, so that they may grow in love, generosity, faithfulness and patience.”

The Pope Video was first launched in 2016 to encourage people to join an estimated 50 million Catholics who already had a more formal relationship with the prayer network — better known by its former title, the Apostleship of Prayer.

The prayer network is more than 170 years old.