The Pope’s words
came just prior to his Sunday angelus prayer, which was held in St.
Peter’s Square in the presence of thousands.
recalled the devotion of his predecessor, John Paul II's to St. Joseph
"to whom he dedicated his Apostolic Exhortation 'Redemptoris Custos',
Guardian of the Redeemer, and whose assistance he surely felt at the
hour of his death."
He went on,
highlighting Joseph’s profound importance in the history of salvation,
beginning with his belonging to the tribe of Judah. This "united Jesus
to the line of David" and ensured that the messianic promises were
fulfilled in Him.
"Like his wife
Mary," Benedict continued, St. Joseph "showed himself to be the true
heir of the faith of Abraham: faith in God Who guides the events of
history according to His mysterious salvific plan."
that St. Joseph's greatness "is even more evident because his mission
took place in the humility and obscurity of his house in Nazareth,” the
Pope said that “Indeed God Himself, in the Person of His Son incarnate,
chose this way of life and this path in His earthly existence."
He told the
crowd that St. Joseph's example presents all the faithful with "a
powerful invitation to perform the role that Providence has assigned us
with faithfulness, simplicity and modesty.”
highlighted the role of “fathers and mothers in families,” adding his
prayers “that they may always know how to appreciate the beauty of a
simple and hard-working life, carefully cultivating their conjugal
relationship and enthusiastically accomplishing the great, and by no
means easy, mission of education."
midday remarks, Pope Benedict entrusted to St. Joseph "priests who
exercise their paternity over ecclesial communities, ... consecrated
people in their joyful and faithful observance of the evangelical
counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience," and "workers of the
entire world, that they may contribute with their various professions
to the progress of humanity entire."
faithful around the world honor St. Joseph, the humble foster father of
Jesus who is patron saint to workers and fathers. Yesterday, Pope
Benedict reflected on this key figure in the Church‘s history, saying
that his simplicity and humility should help Christians live out
whatever role God grants to them in life with faithfulness.