St. Joseph Is Example for Fathers, John Paul II Says

Papal Address Before Midday Angelus

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 17, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II´s address today before reciting the midday Angelus. The address was in Italian.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. The day after tomorrow, March 19, we will celebrate the solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and patron of the universal Church. The extreme discretion with which Joseph carried out the role entrusted to him by God highlights his faith even more, which consisted in always listening to the Lord, seeking to understand his will and to obey it with his whole heart and strength. This is why the Gospel describes him as a «just» man (Matthew 1:19). In fact, the just man is the person who prays, lives by faith, and seeks to do good in every concrete circumstance of life.

Faith nourished by prayer: This is the most precious treasure that St. Joseph transmits to us. Generations of fathers have followed in his footsteps who, with the example of a simple and laborious life, imprinted in their children´s spirit the inestimable value of faith, without which every other good might be in vain. So already now I am happy to assure all fathers of a special prayer, in the day dedicated to them: I ask God that they be men of a robust interior life, who fulfill their mission in the family and society in an exemplary way.

2. On the afternoon of Thursday, March 21, the first day of spring, I will have the joy of meeting with the young people of Rome, who will gather in St. Peter´s Square in preparation for Palm Sunday and World Youth Day. I invite the girls and boys of all the parishes of the diocese to this appointment. Together we will reflect on the mandate that Jesus entrusts to every baptized person: «You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world» (Matthew 5:13-14).

3. While we think of these forthcoming ecclesial events, we look toward Holy Week and the solemn rites of the Paschal Triduum.

May the Virgin Mary accompany us in these last days of Lent and make us experience her consoling protection. May every believer finds in her a gentle and strong guide to meet Christ with renewed fervor in the mystery of his death and resurrection.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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