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Pope Francis' Angelus Address for Holy Family Sunday - December 29, 2013 - Prayer to the Holy Family

December 29, 2013
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Refugees and the Elderly Are The Outcasts of Society
Pope Francis on Sunday turned his attention to the dramatic predicament of migrants and refugees who not always find a welcome, but often become victims of human trafficking and slave labour.
Speaking to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope said that on this first Sunday after Christmas, the liturgy invites us
to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.
He said that the Gospel narrates the Holy Family’s painful exile as it searched for refuge in Egypt and said that Joseph, Mary and Jesus lived the dramatic
condition of refugees, “marked by fear, uncertainty and difficulties”.
Unfortunately today – Pope Francis said – millions of families face this same sad reality. Almost every day the television and the newspapers offer news
reports about refugees that “flee hunger, war and other grave dangers, and go in search of security and a dignified life for themselves and their families”.
And Pope Francis continued pointing out that in far away lands, even when they find work, “not always do refugees and immigrants find a true welcome, respect, and appreciation for the value that they bring. Their legitimate aspirations  clash with complex situations and difficulties that sometimes appear
unsurmountable”.
So – the Pope said – as we fix our gaze on the Holy Family of Nazareth in that time when it was forced into exile, “let us think of the drama of those
migrants and refugees who are victims of rejection and exploitation, who are victims of human trafficking and slave labour”.
Pope Francis went on to say: “let us also think of those other exiles – I would call them ‘the hidden exiles’ who may be marginalized within their own families – the elderly for example who sometimes are treated like burdens”.
The Pope concluded his address pointing out that Jesus wanted to be part of such a family and be faced with these difficulties so that no one may feel
excluded from God’s loving closeness.
The Holy Familiy’s escape to Egypt – he said – shows us that God is there where man is in danger, where man suffers, where he flees, where he is faced with
rejection and abandon. But – he continued – God is also there where man has a dream and hopes to return to his homeland and to freedom, where he has a plan for his dignity and for the dignity of his family.
 
Finally, praying for families across the world, Pope Francis reminded those present that there are three key words to live in peace and joy within the
family: “may I?” , “thank you”, and “sorry”.
After the recitation of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis turned his attention to the upcoming Concistory and to the next Synod of Bishops which will focus on  the theme of the family: He asked the faithful to pray with him for the work of the Bishops and for families throughout the world.
Pope Francis' prayer to the Holy Family
Pope Francis on Sunday invited the faithful to join him sprititually in prayer for the upcoming Concistory and for the next Synod of Bishops which will focus
on the theme of the Family.
Celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family on this first Sunday after Christmas, the Pope entrusted the work of the bishops to Jesus, Mary and Joseph and
recited this prayer:
PRAYER TO THE HOLY FAMILY
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
In you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.

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