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Pope marks St Joseph's Day with advice for fathers

'Be close to your children', Francis says

19 March, 17:23
Pope marks St Joseph's Day with advice for fathers (see previous).

(ANSA) - Vatican City, March 19 - Pope Francis on Wednesday celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph, Father's Day in Catholic countries, telling fathers they should be close to their children.

Speaking to an estimated 80,000-strong crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square for the weekly general audience, the pontiff focused on three aspects of the life and mission of St Joseph: as the "guardian" of the Holy Family; as the teacher and educator of the young Jesus; and as a guide who helped Jesus respond to the working of the Holy Spirit.

Speaking off the cuff, Francis sent special greetings to all the fathers of the world, thanking them for what they do with their children. "Be close to your children, they need you," the pope said.

"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".