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Theme of Pope’s general audience: ‘St. Joseph the Carpenter’

January 12, 2022

At his January 12 general audience—the seventh in a series of Wednesday audiences on St. Joseph—Pope Francis reflected on St. Joseph as a carpenter.

Previous audiences were devoted to St. Joseph and the environment in which he lived (November 17), St. Joseph and salvation history (November 24), St. Joseph, just man and husband of Mary (December 1), and St. Joseph, man of silence (December 15), St. Joseph, persecuted and courageous migrant (December 29), and St. Joseph, Jesus’ foster father (January 5). (There was no general audience on December 8, and the December 22 audience was devoted to preparation for Christmas.)

“In our continuing catechesis on Saint Joseph, we now consider Joseph’s life as a worker,” Pope Francis said to pilgrims assembled in Paul VI Audience Hall, according to the official Vatican summary of his remarks. “The Gospels tell us that Joseph was employed as a carpenter of modest means, engaged in physically demanding work. Jesus himself would have learned much about the dignity of labor from Saint Joseph.”

The summary continued:

Work is in fact essential for our human development and for our growth in holiness. Indeed, work is not simply a matter of material benefit or mere profit, but a means of giving sense, worth and shape to our lives, and teaching us to spend ourselves generously for others.

Today, we can think of all those workers in our world who struggle to make a living or raise a family, and who often encounter injustice, exploitation and the threat of unemployment. Let us pray, through the intercession of Saint Joseph the Worker, for the protection of the fundamental rights of all workers, for an increased awareness of the worth of human labor, and for an economic order that will promote the dignity and prosperity of all peoples.

 


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