Saint Joseph continues to protect the Catholic Church today, just as he protected the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus, Pope Francis said during his general audience on Wednesday.
âIn the Gospel of Luke, Joseph appears as the keeper of Jesus and Mary. And for this reason, he is also âthe guardian of the Church,â âthe Pope said on November 24 during the rally broadcast live in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican.
To quote Patris rope, his apostolic letter of 2020 on Saint Joseph, he adds: âIf [Joseph] was the keeper of Jesus and Mary, now that he is in heaven, he works and continues to be the keeper, in this case, of the Church; âFor the Church is the continuation of the Body of Christ in history, just as the motherhood of Mary is reflected in the motherhood of the Church. In his continued protection of the Church ‘- please remember this: today Joseph protects the Church -‘ he continues to protect the child and his mother. ‘ “
It was Pope Francis’ second week in a catechesis series on Saint Joseph. He said that “although apparently marginal, low-key and withdrawn”, the saint “is in fact a central element in the history of salvation”.
The pope’s message focused on the genealogy of Jesus as told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and what this can teach us about Saint Joseph.
âThe two evangelists present Joseph not as the biological father, but, however, as the full father of Jesus,â he said. âThrough him, Jesus fulfills the history of the covenant and of salvation between God and man.
As seen in Saint Luke’s genealogy, Joseph is a link between Adam, the first man, and Jesus, the Pope said, showing Christians the importance of their own roots.
Referring to Polish philosopher and sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, Francis explained that a âliquidâ society has no consistency.
“I am going to correct this philosopher who invented this definition and say, more than liquid – gaseous, a properly gaseous society,” he added. âThis liquid and gaseous society finds in Joseph’s story a clear indication of the importance of human bonds.
âIn fact, the Gospel tells us about the genealogy of Jesus not only for a theological reason, but also to remind each of us that our life is made up of links that precede and accompany us,â he said. âThe Son of God chose to come into the world through such ties. “
Pope Francis noted that for those who struggle to find meaningful human bonds in their lives, who feel alone or lack strength or courage, Saint Joseph is âan ally, a friend and a supportâ.
He concluded his audience with a prayer to Saint Joseph to help all who feel like this:
you who have kept the link with Mary and Jesus,
help us take care of the relationships in our lives.
Let no one feel the feeling of abandonment
that comes from loneliness.
May each of us be reconciled with our own history,
with those who have gone before,
and recognize even in the mistakes made
a way by which Providence made a way,
and evil did not have the last word.
Be the friend of those who struggle the most,
and as you supported Mary and Jesus in difficult times,
also support us on our journey. Amen.”
During the pope’s greetings at the end of catechesis, a group of pilgrims from the United States sang the Symbol of the Apostles while holding a banner with the words âYou are Peter and on this rock I will build my Churchâ. The background of the banner featured the American flag, a metal fence, and an icon of the Virgin Mary.
A group of neocatechumenal communities in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, sang the Symbol of the Apostles during the Pope’s audience on November 10. They were holding a banner that read, âPeter confirms our faith.
As all those who wished to attend the audience could not enter the Paul VI room on November 24, Pope Francis first went to Saint Peter’s Basilica to greet three large groups of pilgrims: the Association John Paul II of Bisceglie, in southern Italy; members of the Vincentian Family; and the Italian Association of Victims of Violence.
He thanked the association to help victims of violence for their support for the mistreated. “Through your important activity, you are helping to build a fairer and more united society,” he said.
The Pope encouraged the John Paul II group to imitate the example of the Polish Pope âand to strive to understand and welcome the love of God, source and reason of our true joyâ.
He thanked the Italian pilgrims of the Vincentian Family for bringing the hope and mercy of God to many people during the pandemic.
âYou have witnessed to the path of the Church which goes out, which reaches everyone, starting from the excluded and marginalized,â he declared. âContinue on this path and open yourselves ever more to the action of the Holy Spirit, who inspires the strength to boldly proclaim the newness of the Gospel. “
After briefly stopping to pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Pope Francis took the time to personally greet people in the crowd before heading to the Paul VI Hall.