Theme of Pope’s general audience: St. Joseph and the communion of saints
February 02, 2022
At his February 2 general audience—the tenth in a series of Wednesday audiences on St. Joseph—Pope Francis reflected on St. Joseph and the communion of saints.
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), St. Joseph, Jesus’ foster father (January 5), St. Joseph the Carpenter (January 12), St. Joseph, father in tenderness (January 19), and St. Joseph, a man who ‘dreams’ (January 26).
“In our continuing catechesis on Saint Joseph, we have seen how the Church, in pondering the message of the Gospels, has grown in devotion to this great saint,” Pope Francis said to pilgrims assembled in Paul VI Audience Hall, according to the official Vatican summary of his remarks. “Our veneration of the saints and our trust in their intercession are grounded in the very mystery of the Church as the communion of saints,’ redeemed by Christ’s saving sacrifice and united to him as members of his mystical body.”
The summary continued:
Our confidence in their intercession is born of our union with them in Christ, and the bonds of spiritual solidarity that unites the pilgrim Church on earth to the saints in heaven. The Christian people have always turned to the saints as friends of Christ and, consequently, as our friends, ever ready to help and support us at decisive moments in our lives.
Among the saints, the Church especially venerates the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. So too, we give special honor to Saint Joseph, to whose care God entrusted the Holy Family. Echoing a prayer that I have recited daily for many years, let us all place ourselves under the protection of Saint Joseph and ask him to make known to us, in union with Jesus and Mary, the great power of his friendship and love.
During the audience, Pope Francis said that sinners—even those who blaspheme and persecute the Church—are included in the communion of saints. He said:
“Father, let’s think about those who have denied the faith, who are apostates, who are the persecutors of the Church, who have denied their baptism: Are these also at home?” Yes, these too. All of them. The blasphemers, all of them. We are brothers. This is the communion of saints. The communion of saints holds together the community of believers on earth and in heaven, and on earth the saints, the sinners, all.
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