Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and the installation of Pope Francis as the 266th Bishop of Rome. Happy Feast Day to all of us!
St. Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church, the Husband and Protector of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Patron Saint of a happy death (since he died in the arms of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Blessed Lady). St. Joseph is, therefore, a special patron for each and every one of us. It is natural for those of us who are men to gravitate to St. Joseph, but I would like to recommend him to all of you ladies as well — if he looked after and protected Mary and the Child Jesus, would he not be a good protector for you as well? St. Joseph is the perfect example of what a man should be — fatherly, protective, humble, strong, hard-working and faithful — may each and every one of us become more like St. Joseph, and through his prayers, may we be perfectly united to Our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever!
Let us also pray daily for our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, as he enters upon what must be the heaviest burden that a man can carry — that of being the Chief Shepherd (on earth) of Christ’s flock, and the center of unity for all who bear the name of Christ. And may all Christians be one again, that there will be one flock and one shepherd (John, chapter 15)!