> ANSA English > News

Pope Francis prays for fathers on St Joseph's Day

80,000 faithful in St Peter's Square for general audience

19 March, 11:22
Pope Francis prays for fathers on St Joseph's Day (ANSA) - Vatican City, March 19 - Pope Francis said he prayed for all fathers, including deceased ones, during his general audience on Wednesday, St Joseph's Day. The feast of St Joseph is Fathers' Day in Italy and many other countries.

"Be close to your children," the pope said in a greeting to the world's fathers before around 80,000 faithful in St Peter's Square.

"They need you. Just as St Joseph was close to Jesus in his physical, psychological and spiritual growth, you too must be guardians in age, wisdom and grace.

"With Our Lady, Joseph guided the young Jesus as he responded to the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart and in his life. "By his example and prayers, may Saint Joseph be a sure guide to all parents, priests and teachers charged with the education of our young".

Exactly a year ago the Installation Mass for Pope Francis took place before around 200,000 people following his election to the helm of the Catholic Church on March 13.