Vatican City, Mar 18, 2021 / 14:00 pm
Pope Francis has invited Catholic priests to rediscover St. Joseph and learn from his fatherhood during the year dedicated to him.
Speaking to priests and seminarians on Thursday, the pope said, “I invite you to rediscover in a particular way in prayer the figure and mission of Saint Joseph, docile to the will of God, humble author of great deeds, obedient and creative servant.”
“It will do you good to place yourselves and your vocations under his mantle and learn from him the art of fatherhood, which you will soon be called to exercise in the communities and in the ministerial areas and services that will be entrusted to you,” he said in a meeting with a delegation from Rome’s Pontifical Belgian College March 18.
Pope Francis met with a small group of faculty and students of the college to mark its 175th anniversary.
At the beginning of the audience, the pope remarked that St. Pope John Paul II had resided at the college. He also noted that the college’s patron saint is St. Joseph, so, he said, it seemed apt to reflect on the saint on the eve of his solemnity in a year dedicated to him.
“We can look to him, as ministers of Christ, to draw some ideas relating to the identity of the pastor and the way of exercising paternity towards those entrusted to us,” he said.
Francis emphasized the welcoming fatherhood of St. Joseph, who set aside his own projects to love and welcome Mary and Jesus, “a bride and a son very different from the vision of family life that he could have desired, but for this reason even more guarded and loved by him.”
St. Joseph can be a good teacher in the spiritual life and discernment, he said, so that we can learn to welcome what happens in our lives without always trying to “grasp” and “possess” it.