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‘We Pray United, Entrusting Ourselves to St Joseph, Custodian of Holy Family & Guardian of All of Ours…,’ Pope Prays on Saint’s Feast Day During Coronavirus Concerns

Francis Sends Consoling Video-Message for CEI-Promoted Moment of Prayer & Rosary for All Italy

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“We pray united, entrusting ourselves to the intercession of Saint Joseph, Custodian of the Holy Family, Guardian of our families.”

The Holy Father expressed this in a video-message on the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2020, on which the Italian Episcopal Conference promoted a moment of prayer and praying the rosary, inviting all Italy to participate.

In this moment of health emergency, the Italian Bishops–through their initiative which began 9 pm yesterday–invited every family, every faithful, every religious community to recite at home the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, uniting themselves symbolically in prayer.

The Holy Father also encouraged faithful to join, and many did, from all over the world.

“The carpenter of Nazareth also knew precariousness and bitterness, concern for the morrow, but he was able to walk in the darkness of certain moments, allowing himself always to be guided, without reservations by the Will of God.”

Calling on Joseph as ‘Holy Custodian,’ Francis pleaded to him to protect “this, our country.”

The Jesuit Pope prayed Joseph enlighten those responsible for the common good, that, like you, they may be able to take care of the persons entrusted to their responsibility, and to give the intelligence of science to those seeking appropriate means for the health and physical wellbeing of brothers.

“Sustain,” Pope Francis also exhorted, “those that spend themselves for the needy: the volunteers, the nurses, the doctors, who are in the front line in caring for the sick, even at the cost of their safety.”

“Saint Joseph,” he appealed, “bless the Church: beginning with her ministers, make her a sign and instrument of your light and of your goodness.”

“Saint Joseph,” he added, “accompany the families: with your prayerful silence, build harmony between parents and children, particularly the littlest.”

“Preserve,” the Pontiff said, “the elderly from loneliness: may no one be left in the despair of abandonment and discouragement.”

He called on Mary’s husband to console the most fragile, encourage the hesitant, and intercede for the poor.

“With the Virgin Mary,” Pope Francis concluded his prayer, saying: “implore the Lord to free the world from every form of pandemic.”

Here is a translation of the text of the Video-Message that the Holy Father Francis sends on the occasion of the initiative of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI).

* * *

The Holy Father’s Video-Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I join the prayer that the Episcopal Conference wished to promote, as a sign of unity for the whole country.

In this unprecedented situation, in which everything seems uncertain, let us help one another to remain firm in what truly counts. It is an indication of the way that I find in so many letters of your Pastors that, in sharing such a dramatic moment, seek, with their word, to support your hope and your faith.

The prayer of the Rosary is the prayer of the humble and of the Saints that, contemplate with Mary the life of Jesus, merciful face of the Father. And how much need we all have to be truly consoled, to feel enveloped by His loving presence! The truth of this experience is measured in the relationship with others, which in this moment coincides with close family members: let us make ourselves close to one another, by our exercising first charity, understanding, patience and forgiveness.

Out of necessity our spaces can be restricted to the walls of our home, but have a bigger heart, where another can always find availability and welcome.

This evening we pray united, entrusting ourselves to the intercession of Saint Joseph, Custodian of the Holy Family, Guardian of our families. The carpenter of Nazareth also knew precariousness and bitterness, concern for the morrow, but he was able to walk in the darkness of certain moments, allowing himself always to be guided, without reservations by the Will of God.

Holy Custodian, protect this our country.

Illumine those responsible for the common good, that, like you, they may be able to take care of the persons entrusted to their responsibility.

Give the intelligence of science to those seeking appropriate means for the health and physical well-being of brothers.

Sustain those that spend themselves for the needy: the volunteers, the nurses, the doctors, who are in the front line in caring for the sick, even at the cost of their safety.

Saint Joseph, bless the Church: beginning with her ministers, make her a sign and instrument of your light and of your goodness.

Saint Joseph, accompany the families: with your prayerful silence, build harmony between parents and children, particularly the littlest.

Preserve the elderly from loneliness: may no one be left in the despair of abandonment and discouragement.

Console the most fragile, encourage the hesitant, intercede for the poor.

With the Virgin Mary, implore the Lord to free the world from every form of pandemic.

Amen.

[Original text: Italian] [Zenit-provided translation of Italian videomessage]
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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