Pope Benedict XVI- Angelus
H.H. Benedict XVI
March 19, 2006
Dear Brothers and
March, is the Solemnity of St Joseph, but as it coincides with the
Third Sunday of Lent, its liturgical celebration is postponed until
tomorrow. However, the Marian context of the Angelus invites us to
reflect today with veneration on the figure of the Blessed Virgin
Mary's spouse and Patron of the universal Church.
I like to recall that beloved John Paul II was also very devoted to
St Joseph, to whom he dedicated the Apostolic Exhortation
Redemptoris Custos, Guardian of the
Redeemer, and who surely experienced his assistance at the hour of
The figure of this
great Saint, even though remaining somewhat hidden, is of
fundamental importance in the history of salvation. Above all, as
part of the tribe of Judah, he united Jesus to the Davidic lineage
so that, fulfilling the promises regarding the Messiah, the Son of
the Virgin Mary may truly be called the "son of David".
The Gospel of Matthew
highlights in a special way the Messianic prophecies which reached
fulfilment through the role that Joseph played: the birth of Jesus
in Bethlehem (2: 1-6); his journey through Egypt, where the Holy
Family took refuge (2: 13-15); the nickname, the "Nazarene"
In all of this he
showed himself, like his spouse Mary, an authentic heir of Abraham's
faith: faith in God who guides the events of history according to
his mysterious salvific plan. His greatness, like Mary's, stands out
even more because his mission was carried out in the humility and
hiddenness of the house of Nazareth. Moreover, God himself, in the
person of his Incarnate Son, chose this way and style of life -
humility and hiddenness - in his earthly existence.
From the example of
St Joseph we all receive a strong invitation to carry out with
fidelity, simplicity and modesty the task that Providence has
entrusted to us. I think especially of fathers and mothers of
families, and I pray that they will always be able to appreciate the
beauty of a simple and industrious life, cultivating the conjugal
relationship with care and fulfilling with enthusiasm the great and
difficult educational mission.
To priests, who
exercise a paternal role over Ecclesial Communities, may St Joseph
help them love the Church with affection and complete dedication,
and may he support consecrated persons in their joyous and faithful
observance of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and
obedience. May he protect workers throughout the world so that they
contribute with their different professions to the progress of the
whole of humanity, and may he help every Christian to fulfil God's
will with confidence and love, thereby cooperating in the fulfilment
of the work of salvation.
This year marks the
500th anniversary of the Vatican Museums, defined by my beloved
Predecessor John Paul II as "one of the most important doors of the
Holy See opened to the world". Indeed, this institution offers an
important contribution to the Church's mission, communicating to
millions of people the truths of Christianity with the language of
art. I express my best wishes for the cultural exhibits that are
scheduled and assure my remembrance in prayer for all those who work
in the Vatican Museums and for all visitors.
On this Third Sunday
of Lent I am happy to welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and
visitors present for the Angelus, including a group of Syro-Malabar
Catholics from the Unites States of America. May our Lenten
practices lead us more deeply into the life of the Church, so that
she may become an ever clearer sign of our hope, which is salvation
in Jesus Christ! Upon you and your families I invoke God's abundant
Blessings of strength and peace.
I wish everyone a
blessed Sunday and a fruitful Lenten journey! Best wishes and have a
good week! Thank you!
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