JOHN PAUL II
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. The day after tomorrow, 19 March, we will celebrate the solemnity of St Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and patron of the universal Church. The extreme discretion with which Joseph carried out the role entrusted to him by God highlights his faith even more, which consisted in always listening to the Lord, seeking to understand his will and to obey it with his whole heart and strength.
This is why the Gospel describes him as a "just" man (Mt 1,19). In fact, the just man is the person who prays, lives by faith, and seeks to do good in every concrete circumstance of life.
3. While we think of these upcoming ecclesial events, we look forward to Holy Week and the solemn rites of the Paschal Triduum.
May the Virgin Mary be with us in these days of Lent and make us experience her consoling protection. May every believer find in her a gentle and strong guide to meet Christ with renewed fervour in the mystery of his death and resurrection.
After the Angelus, the Holy Father asked for support for the UN Summit that begins on Monday, 18 March in Mexico. The Pope also asked for prayer for the murdered Archbishop Isaías Duarte Cancino, 63, of Calí, Colombia, killed on Saturday.
In these next days, an event of great importance will take place at Monterrey, Mexico, the
International Conference on Financing for Development. I ask everyone to pray so that the international community will respond with a generous and determined commitment to the immense needs of so many brethren who live in a poverty that wounds human dignity. In this connection, I wish to recall that 35 years ago, in the month of March, the Church published a very important document, the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, in which my venerated Predecessor Paul VI pointed out the way toward humanity's common progress, affirming that "development is the new name of peace".
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