ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE GENERAL CHAPTER OF THE OBLATES OF SAN GIUSEPPE
Hall of the Consistory
Friday, 31 August 2018
Dear brothers, good morning!
I like San Giuseppe, it has so much "power"! For more than forty years I have recited a prayer I found in an ancient French missal that says about St. Joseph "... dont la puissance sait rendre possibles les choses impossibles". The power of St. Joseph. Never, never said no. We must take courage from this. I am pleased to meet you at your General Chapter and I warmly welcome you. I address a particular thought to Father Jan Pelczarski, elected Superior General in these days, formulating to him and his Councilors my wish for the new mission. At the same time, I express gratitude to Father Michele Piscopo for his generous service at the head of the Congregation. Thank you. Best wishes! I extend my sentiments of affection to the entire religious family that you, the Capitular Fathers, represented here, encouraging everyone to persevere in their respective apostolic sphere.
The General Chapter of an Institute of Consecrated Life is a special moment of grace, certainly for its members and its communities, but also beyond them, for many ecclesial realities, parishes, families, lay groups in various connected ways. The mission transmitted to you by the founder, St. Joseph Marello, shows your peculiar charism to reproduce in life and in the apostolate the ideal of service as Saint Joseph of Nazareth lived it. Starting from the imitation of his discreet, humble and industrious lifestyle. He lived with fidelity and simplicity his vocation as custodian of Mary and of Jesus. He was close to his bride in joyful and difficult moments, and with her he established a wonderful familiarity with Jesus, who had continually under his eyes. .
Rich in the industrious simplicity of St. Joseph, you are called to be witnesses in the world of a peculiar message, of a consoling good news: that God uses everyone, in preference to the smallest and humanly unaddressed, to implant and grow his Kingdom. The prospect of serving Jesus in the Church and in our brothers and sisters, with particular attention to the young and the humblest, can always influence your life and your joy. In this the words of your holy Founder inspire you, which are always very timely: "Poor Josephites of the Hospice-Chronic, minor priests, you are nothing and you do not have any of those who say positions for the future, and in the meantime the Lord also uses you for the good of souls. Say also: "servants inutiles sumus" ["we are useless servants"], but pull ahead of doing the part that the divine will, by means of who represents it, day by day assigns you; and let it be that men "videant opera vestra bona et glorificent Patrem vestrum here in coelis est" ["see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven"] »(Epistolario, Lett. 241).
I encourage you, therefore, to continue to live and work in the Church and in the world with the simple and essential virtues of the Bridegroom of the Virgin Mary: humility, which attracts the benevolence of the Father; intimacy with the Lord, who sanctifies all Christian activity; silence and concealment, united with zeal and industriousness in favor of the Lord's will, in the spirit of that happy synthesis left to you by Marello as a motto and program: "Be Carthusians in the house and apostles outside the home". This teaching, always alive in your spirit, commits all of you, dear brothers, to preserve in religious houses a climate of recollection and prayer, fostered by silence and opportune community meetings. The family spirit cements the union of the communities and of the whole Congregation.
Saint Joseph Marello exhorted his spiritual children to put love and obedience first to the teachings and directives of the Supreme Pontiff. These were times, then, of rationalism impatient of every spiritual dogma; ours are times of rampant relativism that undermines the building of faith and strips the very idea of Christian fidelity. Therefore, the mandate of your Founder is to be everywhere witnesses of love and fidelity to Christ and to his Church. To the people of every part of the world and to young people in particular, to whom your apostolate is addressed, you teach, with life and words, that the example of Joseph of Nazareth, fully consecrated to the service of Jesus , it is still the easiest, safest and most fascinating way to realize life and the Christian vocation in a full and joyful way.
Faced with a superficial culture that exalts the possession of material goods and promising happiness through dangerous shortcuts, you do not fail to stimulate young people to temper the spirit and to form a mature personality, capable of strength but also of tenderness. And the greatest joy is to talk to young people about Jesus Christ, reading the Gospel with them, comparing it with life ... This is the best way to build a solid future.
The intercession of the two Josephs, the Patron of the universal Church and your Founder, makes the work of the Chapter fruitful. Support the mission of the Marellian Family: Oblates, Oblates, aggregates and lay people who share your spirituality. I bless you all from the heart, and I ask you to please pray for me.