Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, through Circular 1006, offers the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians a reflection on the figure of Saint Joseph, in harmony with Pope Francis who wanted a special year dedicated to him on the 150 years since the Quemadmodum Deus Decree with which Blessed Pius IX declared Saint Joseph Patron of the Church.
Mother Yvonne refers to Patris corde, the Apostolic Letter given by Pope Francis to the Church on 8 December 2020, which for the FMA is “an opportunity to revisit the mission of St. Joseph, the privileged place he occupied in our first communities, and to remember with gratitude that Don Bosco gave him to the Institute as Patron.”
She takes up some passages, highlighting the crucial moments lived by Joseph in faith, in purity of heart, and in obedience to the mission that had been entrusted to him, to be guardian and take care of Mary and Jesus, a custody that then extends to the whole Church and which is significant for the life and mission that the Educating Communities are called to carry out in the Church and in society.
Mother invites us to welcome and study the apostolic letter to “increase love for this great saint, to be impelled to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and enthusiasm” (Patris corde), and asks us to entrust Pope Francis to St. Joseph, on the anniversary of his ministry: “On March 19, in communion with the universal Church and with the whole Institute, we will celebrate the solemnity of St. Joseph. It is to him that we want to entrust Pope Francis on the anniversary of his Petrine ministry: 19 March 2013 – 19 March 2021.”
She then recalls some aspects of devotion to St. Joseph and how he was, in the first communities of the FMA Institute, ‘a familiar presence’, ‘one of the house’. In Mornese and Nizza Monferrato, they had recourse to him with faith for every material and spiritual need, obtaining graces beyond expectations. This contributed to the spread among the FMA of love for Saint Joseph, a ‘love that goes forth’, which Mother encourages to keep alive, recounting in the community the numerous signs of Providence linked to trust in him.
Finally, Mother Yvonne shares some aspects, matured in reflection and prayer, useful for transforming as St. Joseph did, every event as the history of salvation; to love active silence, to take care with love and, in view of the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the FMA Institute, to become experts in caring, responding to the invitation “I entrust them to you, take care of them.”
Mother concludes the reflection with an invocation: “To Saint Joseph, in this ‘special’ year, and to Mary whom we celebrate on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, I ask you to help us become experts in taking care of the younger generations by giving, through education and the proclamation of the Gospel, life in abundance in the preventive spirit typical of our charism and to be close to families in listening and accompanying their mission.”
As Easter approaches, she expresses her wishes that it can be lived in serenity, peace, and solidarity with those in need.