During Mass for the conclusion of the Triduum in honour of Saint Joseph at the International Eucharistic and Marian Shrine, Knock, Archbishop Michael Neary spoke of the importance of Saint Joseph as a model father figure.

During his homily, Archbishop Neary said, “In his apostolic letter on Saint Joseph entitled “With a Father’s Heart”, Pope Francis focuses on Fatherhood by taking the example of Saint Joseph.

“Quoting Saint John Chrysostom, Pope Francis says that Joseph ‘placed himself at the service of the entire plan of salvation’. Scripture does not recount a single word of his; silent and humble, he always stands aside letting Mary and Jesus go ahead of him.”

He continued, “In Joseph we see an ideal combination of inner strength and gentleness of character. In a world where women are subjected to violence, we see in Joseph somebody who is respectful, protective and supportive in his role as the legal father of Jesus and the husband of Mary. At times events in life may leave us annoyed, angry, frustrated and rebellious. In his relationship with God, Joseph readjusts his plans to coincide with the broader picture of the salvation that God is bringing about.”

Emphasiseng Saint Joseph’s role as Patron of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Neary said, “Not surprisingly Pope Pius IX declared Joseph as the Patron of the Catholic Church. As a Church we are living through challenging times as we cope with confusion, division and the absence of hope among many people. Yet there is much genuine goodness as people appreciate role models and search for God. As one who lived through confusing events, coped with uncertainty, listened and responded to the promptings of the Lord, Joseph, though silent speaks very significantly to our world today.

In his apostolic letter Patris corde Pope Francis declared this year to be a Year of Saint Joseph, from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021.

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