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St. Joseph is model educator, Pope Francis says in general audience

Catholic World News - March 19, 2014

Pope Francis devoted his March 19 general audience to St. Joseph and paid tribute to him as a model educator.

Speaking before a crowd of 60,000 on the Solemnity of St. Joseph and the first anniversary of the inauguration of his Petrine ministry, Pope Francis said that St. Joseph’s “deserves all our gratitude and our devotion” because of his “great mission, to be guardian” of the Blessed Virgin and Jesus Christ.

Citing St. Luke’s Gospel, which states that “Jesus grew in wisdom and age and grace” (Lk. 2:52), Pope Francis began by reflecting on how St. Joseph helped Jesus grow in “age,” raising him in Egypt as a refugee, returning to Nazareth, and teaching him the carpenter’s trade.

St. Joseph was also “an example and teacher of [the] wisdom that is nourished by the Word of God”: he took Jesus to the synagogue in Nazareth, where he would hear God’s word. While the work of St. Joseph in helping Jesus grow in grace is obviously “more limited,” “it would be a serious mistake to think that a father and a mother are not able to do anything to educate their children to grow in the grace of God.”

Although St. Joseph’s mission is “unique and unrepeatable,” Pope Francis concluded that he remains a “model for every educator, in particular for each father.”

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