St. Joseph Praised as a Model for Fathers

Papal Address Before Midday Angelus

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 17, 2002 ( St. Joseph is model of the interior life for every father who wants to fulfill his mission at home and in society, John Paul II says.

On Tuesday, the Church celebrates the solemnity of the foster father of Jesus. Some Catholic countries also celebrate it as the Father´s Day holiday.

Before praying the Angelus at midday with thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square, the Holy Father took note of the «extreme discretion with which Joseph carried out the role entrusted to him by God highlights his faith even more.»

Speaking from the window of his study, the Pope said that the Nazareth carpenter´s faith «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. In fact, the just man is the person who prays, lives by faith, and seeks to do good in every concrete circumstance of life,» John Paul II explained.

«The most precious treasure that St. Joseph transmits to us» is «faith nourished by prayer,» the Pope said.

«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,» he stressed.

«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 inner life, who fulfill their mission in the family and society in an exemplary way,» the Holy Father concluded.

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