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Pope praises 'greatness of soul' of St. Joseph at last Sunday audience before Christmas

December 23, 2013

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, December 22, Pope Francis said that the day’s Gospel reading—for the 4th Sunday of Advent—shows the “greatness of soul” of St. Joseph.

When he learned that Mary was pregnant, the Pope said, St. Joseph “did not insist on pursuing his life’s plans, or to allow resentment to poison his soul.” Instead St. Joseph—“who always listened to God’s voice”—chose to sacrifice himself to serve others and accepted God’s plan without reservation. As a result, the Pope said, the Christian world prepares for Christmas by contemplating Mary and Joseph: “Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself totally to God's word; Joseph, the faithful and just man who preferred to believe in the Lord instead of listening to the voices of doubt and human pride. With them, we walk together towards Bethlehem.”

Toward the end of his audience, the Pope called attention to demonstrators who were carrying a banner that read: “The poor cannot wait.” He remarked that Jesus was born into poverty, and said that Christmas is a particularly difficult time for families living in need, especially those who are homeless. He encouraged “individuals, social organizations, authorities” to do their utmost to help families find homes. Speaking to demonstrators, he encouraged them to “offer a constructive contribution, rejecting the temptations of conflict and violence.”

Pope Francis closed by wishing everyone “a good Sunday and a Christmas of hope, justice, and fraternity.”


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Dec. 23, 2013 11:25 PM ET USA

    Joseph through the centuries continues to remain for the most part "mystery..." intriguing that so little is known of so powerful a Saint.