With a Father’s Heart

On the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis issued his apostolic letter “Patris Corde,” “With a Father’s Heart.”  It’s a short easy-read describing how Joseph loved Jesus. Joseph’s was “a love placed at the service of the Messiah who was growing to maturity in his home” (quoted from Saint Paul VI). Pope Francis imagines that Jesus “drew inspiration for the parable of the prodigal son and the merciful father” from his family experience in Nazareth. The apostolic letter speaks to our own day and lives. We’re reminded that “we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture.” We’re told to “embrace the way things are.” We read of the four dreams Joseph had, that aided him in becoming a “creatively courageous” father. Joseph is invoked as “protector of the unfortunate, the needy, exiles, the afflicted, the poor and the dying.” Anyone reading this—not just fathers–will be touched by the tender love of Joseph in a tenderly-written letter.

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