After finishing his catechesis on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians earlier this month, Pope Francis began a new catechesis on St Joseph, in honor of the Year of St. Joseph. In the last two weeks, Francis concluded his audience address with a prayer to this great saint, with each prayer focusing on a different aspect of Joseph’s character.
(Pope Francis’s preceding remarks: “Today I would like to send a message to all the men and women who live in the most forgotten geographical peripheries of the world, or who experience situations of existential marginality. May you find in Saint Joseph the witness and protector to look to. We can turn to him with this prayer, a “home-made” prayer, but one that comes from the heart.”)
you who have always trusted God,
and have made your choices
guided by his providence
teach us not to count so much on our own plans
but on his plan of love.
You who come from the peripheries
help us to convert our gaze
and to prefer what the world discards and marginalises.
Comfort those who feel alone
and support those who work silently
to defend life and human dignity. Amen.
(Pope Francis’s preceding remarks: Dear brothers and sisters, I think of the many people who find it difficult to find meaningful bonds in their lives, and because of this they struggle, they feel alone, they lack the strength and courage to go on. I would like to conclude with a prayer to help them, and all of us, to find in Saint Joseph an ally, a friend and a support.”)
you who guarded the bond with Mary and Jesus,
help us to care for the relationships in our lives.
May no one experience that sense of abandonment
that comes from loneliness.
Let each of us be reconciled with our own history,
with those who have gone before,
and recognise even in the mistakes made
a way through which Providence has made its way,
and evil did not have the last word.
Show yourself to be a friend to those who struggle the most,
and as you supported Mary and Jesus in difficult times,
support us too on our journey. Amen.
Image: Michael Willman St. Joseph with the Child Jesus (1692-1696) from St. Joseph church Warsaw-Koło (originally in Cistercian monastic church Lubiąż Abbey – altarpiece in northern section of transept). By Fallaner – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85678942