Monday, March 19, 2012


RADIO VATICANA REPORT; Today is the Feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church. It is also the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s “name day”. The head of Vatican Radio’s English for Africa service, Fr. Moses Hamungole, offered his reflections on the role of St. Joseph in the life of the Church.

“Today is the day to celebrate fatherhood,” he said. “To be a father is not an easy challenge – there are many difficulties that go with it.” At the same time, Fr. Moses said, “We can look to St. Joseph, who quietly – as I would say, one of the ‘silent fathers’ – handled whatever needed to be handled.” Speaking of St. Joseph’s exemplary faith and wisdom, Fr. Moses said, “it is important [that fathers] pray for discernment, to pray for patience, to pray for these qualities, which can make one a good father.”

At the Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Benedict thanked the faithful for all those who sustain him by their prayers, especially around his name day. Fr. Moses said it is extremely important to pray for the Pope, who is spiritual father to the whole Church. “If he has to discharge his ministry, he needs the spiritual support of every one of us.”

RADIO VATICANA REPORT; Pope Benedict XVI and Italian prime minister Mario Monti exchanged best wishes in a brief telephone conversation on Monday. March 19th is the feast day of St. Joseph, and the “onomastic” or Name-day of Pope Benedict XVI, who was baptised Joseph Ratzinger. It is also the birthday of Monti, the head of Italy’s government.

The Holy Father’s Name-day was also celebrated here at the Vatican, where papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope is inspired by his patron saint:

“Saint Joseph guided his family ‘as one who serves.’ He teaches us that one can love without possessing, and he reveals to us the secret of living in the presence of mystery. In him there is no separation between faith and action, because his faith had a decisive effect on his actions. Joseph is a ‘just man’ because his existence is always ‘adjusted’ to the word of God. This is how the Pope spoke about his patron some time ago, in a beautiful sermon that expressed not only his devotion, but also the inspiration he receives from this humble and sublime model (March 18, 2009, Vespers in Yaounde).”

On behalf of everyone here at Vatican Radio, as well as for the members of the Vatican Television Centre (CTV) and the Press Office of the Holy See, Father Lombardi then addressed the Pope directly: “In this same spirit, we wish you a very happy Name Day, especially in light of your upcoming duties of faith and service. Best wishes, Holy Father!”


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