· At the General Audience the Pope contemplates the fatherhood of St Joseph ·
And he recommends that fathers stay close to their children
On Wednesday, 19 March,
the Solemnity of
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Today, 19 March, we
celebrate the Solemn Feast of St Joseph, Spouse of Mary and Patron of the
Today I would like to take up the theme of guardianship under a particular aspect: the educational aspect. We look to Joseph as the model educator, who watches over and accompanies Jesus as he grows “in wisdom, age and grace”, as the Gospel says. He was not Jesus’ father: the father of Jesus was God, but he was a father to Jesus, he was a father to Jesus in order to help him grow. And how did he help him grow? In wisdom, age and grace.
Let us begin with age,
which is the most natural dimension, physical and psychological growth. Joseph
together with Mary, cared for Jesus above all from this point of view, that is
he “raised” him, taking care that he lacked nothing he needed for healthy
development. Let us not forget that guarding faithfully over the Child’s life
also entailed the Flight to Egypt, the harsh experience of living as refugees —
Joseph was a refugee with Mary and Jesus — so as to escape the threat of Herod.
Then, once they had returned home and were settled in
Let us move to the second dimension
of his education: “wisdom”. Joseph was for Jesus the example and the
teacher of the wisdom that is nourished by the Word of God. We could ponder how
Joseph formed the little Jesus to listen to the Sacred Scriptures, above all by
accompanying him on Saturday to the Synagogue in
And lastly, the dimension
of “grace”. St Luke always says of Jesus: “the favour of God was upon
him” (2:40). Here, of course, the role reserved to
Dear brothers and sisters,
Joseph’s mission is certainly unique and unrepeatable, because Jesus is
absolutely unique. And yet, in his guardianship of Jesus, forming him to grow
in age, wisdom and grace, he is a model for every educator, especially every
I am pleased to greet the
English-speaking visitors and pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including
I address a loving greeting to our brothers and sisters in the Arab tongue, especially those coming from Lebanon and the Holy Land: St Joseph is the model for every educator and for all faithful, for he knew how to overcome the darkness of doubt, the experience of exile and flight from his home without ever losing his faith in God and in His Love. May you learn from him that only faith in God can change doubt to certainty, evil to good, the total darkness of night into a radiant dawn. May the Lord bless you!
I address a special thought
to young people, to the sick and to newlyweds. Today we
are celebrating the Solemnity of St Joseph, Patron of the
Concern for the youth was
at the centre of two meetings Pope Francis held on Wednesday, 19 March, the
Feast of St Joseph. He met with about 80 people from
Naturally on the day dedicated to the memory of the just man who was the guardian and educator of Jesus, the Pope’s reflection focused on the theme of education and sport — the surest way to prevent dependency, especially drug addictions.
These situations are consumed by the cult of well-being, by excessive financial liberalism and by a market that discards the unnecessary. In many countries unemployment among the youth is quite high, as is the tendency to marginalize, exclude and dispose of an entire generation of elderly persons. Commitment to education is therefore urgent and must be undertaken together with the family and schools. Schools — the Pope finished with — must continue to have a soul.
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