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Theme of Pope’s general audience: St. Joseph in salvation history

November 24, 2021

In his November 24 general audience—the second in a series of Wednesday audiences on St. Joseph—Pope Francis spoke on St. Joseph and salvation history.

On November 17, the Pope spoke on St. Joseph and the environment in which he lived.

“In our continuing catechesis on Saint Joseph, we now consider his important role in salvation history,” Pope Francis said to pilgrims assembled in Paul VI Audience Hall, according to the official Vatican summary of his remarks. “The genealogies in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke present Jesus as the ‘son of Joseph’ (Lk 3:23), and affirm that, while not his biological father, Joseph nevertheless exercises a true fatherhood in his regard.”

The summary continued:

Matthew shows that Joseph, though an apparently marginal figure, is in fact central to the unfolding of salvation history and the fulfilment of God’s promises. This reminds us that we too are called to play our own part, however small, in spreading the saving message of the Gospel.

Luke portrays Joseph as the protector of Jesus and Mary. He likewise carries on this role as Protector of the Universal Church, the continuation of the Body of Christ in history.

The genealogy of Joseph also reminds our often fractured world of the importance of the human ties that precede and follow us. As we seek to strengthen those ties, and protect our vulnerable brothers and sisters through fraternal works of charity, let us trust in Joseph’s prayers and imitate his humble and loyal role in God’s plan of salvation.

Before his catechesis, Pope Francis visited St. Peter’s Basilica, where he offered greetings to 3,000 pilgrims from the Vincentian Family, the John Paul II Association of Bisceglie (Italy), and the Italian Association of Victims of Violence.


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