Sunday, April 30, 2023

How the feast of St. Joseph the Worker came about



Joseph, the “Just Man”

The Gospel of St Matthew describes Joseph as a “just man”, which in the language of the Bible means one who loves and respects the law as the expression of the will of God. Like Mary, Joseph too was visited by an angel, who appeared to him in a dream. And, again like Mary, her spouse, Joseph said “Yes”, when the angel revealed that the Child she bore was conceived of the Holy Spirit.

The special characteristic of Joseph is hiddenness, remaining in the background. No word of his is recorded in the Gospels. He is not mentioned after the finding of Christ in the Temple. Probably by the time Jesus began his public life, at the wedding in Cana, Joseph had already passed to the next life, although we don’t know exactly when or where he died. And the place of his burial remains a mystery.

Work: Participation in the Divine Plan

As is true of many fathers, Joseph raised Jesus to follow in his own profession as a craftsman; in the Gospels, Jesus is called “the son of the carpenter”.

The life of St Joseph shows us the dignity of human work, which is the duty and the perfection of human beings, who in this way exercise dominion over creation, share in the work of the Creator, offer their service to the community, and participate in God’s plan of salvation. Joseph loved his work. He never complained of weariness, but as a man of faith elevated it to the exercise of virtue. He found contentment in his work, because he did not aspire to wealth and did not envy the rich; for Joseph, work was not a means to satisfy his own greed, but an instrument to support his family.
And, following God’s commandment, on the Sabbath St Joseph observed the weekly rest and took part in the celebrations. We should not wonder at this noble conception of the humble work of manual labour: already in the Old Testament, in fact, God was seen symbolically as a winegrower, a sower, a shepherd.

The feast of Saint Joseph the Worker

This feast was officially instituted by Pope Pius XII on 1 May 1955, in order to ensure that workers not lose this Christian understanding of work; but earlier Popes had already prepared the ground. Blessed Pius IX in a certain way had recognized the importance of Saint Joseph as a labourer, when he proclaimed him Patron of the Universal Church. The principle of work as a means to eternal salvation would be taken up again by St John Paul II in his encyclical Laborem exercens, where he refers to “the Gospel of Work”. And Cardinal Angelo Roncalli – who became Pope St John XXIII – when he was elected to the Throne of Peter had thought of taking the name Joseph, so devoted was he to the saint who was the foster-father of Jesus. Many other saints, especially St Teresa of Avila, had a particular devotion to Saint Joseph.

May 1st: Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

 Feast of St Joseph the Worker: Affirming the Dignity of All Work

During an apostolic visit to Africa in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI reflected on St. Joseph and what he teaches us. He often uses the Patron of the Universal Church - his namesake (Joseph Ratzinger) - as an example. He told the faithful gathered in the Basilica of Mary Queen of Apostles in Cameroon:
"I ... encourage you to look to Saint Joseph. When Mary received the visit of the angel at the Annunciation, she was already betrothed to Joseph. In addressing Mary personally, the Lord already closely associates Joseph to the mystery of the Incarnation. Joseph agreed to be part of the great events which God was beginning to bring about in the womb of his spouse."
"He took Mary into his home. He welcomed the mystery that was in Mary and the mystery that was Mary herself. He loved her with great respect, which is the mark of all authentic love. Joseph teaches us that it is possible to love without possessing. In contemplating Joseph, all men and women can, by God's grace, come to experience healing from their emotional wounds, if only they embrace the plan that God has begun to bring about in those close to him, just as Joseph entered into the work of redemption through Mary and as a result of what God had already done in her."
"Joseph was caught up at every moment by the mystery of the Incarnation. Not only physically, but in his heart as well, Joseph reveals to us the secret of a humanity which dwells in the presence of mystery and is open to that mystery at every moment of everyday life. In Joseph, faith is not separated from action. His faith had a decisive effect on his actions. Paradoxically, it was by acting, by carrying out his responsibilities, that he stepped aside and left God free to act, placing no obstacles in his way. Joseph is a "just man" (Mt 1:19) because his existence is "ad-justed" to the word of God."
On May 1 the Universal Church honors this Patron for his witness to the dignity of human work. During the last years of his service, Blessed John Paul II addressed leaders of the "Catholic Action" movement in Italy on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. He used a poignant expression, the "Gospel of Work". In explaining what he meant he developed a theme deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, expounded upon in the Christian Tradition and desperately needed in this age. In 1981 he had authored an Encyclical letter entitled "On Human Work" which presented the Christian vision of the dignity and meaning of human work.
In the industrial age men and women were often reduced to instruments in a society that emphasized "productivity" over the dignity of the worker. The technological age promised something different but failed to deliver. Human beings are still reduced to human doings rather than human beings. To come to a new understanding of the dignity of human labor requires what St Paul rightly called a "renewal of the mind" (See, Romans 12:2).
John Paul told those assembled that because work "has been profaned by sin and contaminated by egoism" it is an activity that "needs to be redeemed." He reminded them that "Jesus was a man of work and that work enabled him to develop his humanity". He emphasized that "the work of Nazareth constituted for Jesus a way to dedicate himself to the 'affairs of the Father,' witnessing that "the work of the Creator is prolonged" through work and that therefore ".according to God's providential plan, man, by working, realizes his own humanity and that of others: In fact, work 'forms man and, in a certain sense, creates him.."
He called them to be rescued "from the logic of profit, from the lack of solidarity, from the fever of earning ever more, from the desire to accumulate and consume." When the focus of work becomes subjected to what he called "inhuman wealth" it becomes a "seductive and merciless idol." That rescue occurs when we "return to the austere words of the Divine Master: 'For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?'"
Finally, he proclaimed that the "divine Worker of Nazareth" also "reminds us that 'life is more than food' and that work is for man, not man for work. What makes a life great is not the entity of gain, nor the type of profession, or the level of the career. Man is worth infinitely more than the goods he produces or possesses."
This "Gospel of Work" needs to be proclaimed anew in an age reeling from the near collapse of a banking system corrupted by greed and the rejection of the dignity of every human person. On Friday, April 30, 2010, Pope Benedict, mindful of the pending Feast of Joseph the Worker, addressed a Vatican conference on the theme "Crisis in a Global Economy. Re-planning the Journey."
He explained  the Social teaching of the Catholic Church that the dignity of human work derives from its relationship to the human person. He affirmed that economies should be at the service of the person, the family and the common good. His treatment of these themes in "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth) must be seriously examined by Catholics who hope to inform their thinking on economic issues, first, with the teaching of the Church.
The Catholic Catechism reminds us: "Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat." Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish."
"Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ. In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work. Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive."
A Catholic vision views work through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God Incarnate became a worker! The dignity of this God become Man elevates the basic goodness of all human work. The early Church Father and Bishop Irenaeus expressed the profundity of this all when he said: "Whatever was not assumed was not healed!"
Because the entire human experience was assumed by Jesus, work was transformed by Christ the worker! As a child, Jesus learned from Joseph the Worker how to work with wood. He would later climb upon a wooden cross to re-create all humanity in the great work of redemption. All of the work undertaken by Jesus was joined to His Heavenly Father's work. That is the same relationship we have with the Father now through Him.
Though there is biblical support that the toil and drudgery or "sweat" of work is connected to the fracture in the order of the universe which was occasioned by sin (see Gen 3:19) work itself is not the punishment for sin. Rather, for the Christian, work can become a participation in the continuing redemptive work of Jesus. He was always doing the "work" of the One who sent Him (John 9:3-4) and we are invited by grace to now do the same.
The early Christians' worship became known as "liturgy" which meant the "work" of the Church. For them the world was not a place to be avoided but their workshop! They were there to bring all to Baptism and inclusion in Christ and to prepare the world for His return. The "Paschal mystery" began a process of transformation not only in the followers of Jesus but also in the very cosmos created through Him and for Him. It is now being recreated in Him. The work of Jesus continues now through His Body, the Church, placed in that creation as a seed of its transfiguration.
All things were created in Christ (see Col 1:15-20) and are being re-created as His work continues through His Body, the Church of which we are members. The unfolding of all of this is a what St. Paul calls a "plan" and a "mystery", to bring all things together under heaven and on earth in Him (e.g. Eph 1: 9-10).For the Christian work is an invitation to participate in that plan. No matter what we are doing as work we are to "do it as unto the Lord" (see Col 3). That choice enables it to change the world both within us and around us.
This plan includes all work - not just what is often called the "spiritual stuff." God Incarnate, Jesus, did not just do what is too often called the "spiritual stuff." All human work sanctifies us and changes the world. St. Paul captures the hope of all creation when, in the eighth chapter of his letter to the Romans he reminds us that all of creation "groans" for the full revelation of the sons and daughters of God.
We can have a new relationship to the entire created order beginning now because we live in the Son, through whom and for whom, it was all created and is being re-created. That is why these insights from John Paul II and Benedict are so important. There truly is a "Gospel of Work" we experience when we embrace our work with a mind renewed by the Holy Spirit.
I am old enough to remember the days when on May 1st Communist Nations paraded their weapons of destruction through the streets of major cities promising a workers' paradise through their counterfeit ideology. It was during this time that the Church first set aside this Feast of Joseph to make a prophetic cultural statement.
She proclaimed a different way, the Gospel of Jesus Christ with its "Gospel of Work". On this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker we must once again take up this task. Let us rediscover the creative and redemptive value of all human work when it is joined to the continuing work of the Gospel. Let us proclaim again in our time the "Gospel of Work."
We need to turn to the teaching of the Church on the dignity of work - and the worker- as we consider all of the implications of this important policy concern as a Nation. On this Feast of Joseph the Worker, let us seek the intercession of Patron of the Universal Church and follow his example, recognizing that all human work participates in the workshop of Nazareth. Let us reflect on Pope Benedict's words "In Joseph, faith is not separated from action. His faith had a decisive effect on his actions." Let the same be said of each of us.

Pope Francis departs Hungary on way home to Rome


Hungary's President, Katlin Novak, says goodbye to Pope Francis as he prepares to board the papal plane bringing him back to Rome after his apostolic visitHungary's President, Katlin Novak, says goodbye to Pope Francis as he prepares to board the papal plane bringing him back to Rome after his apostolic visit  (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis bids farewell to Hungary

Pope Francis departs from Hungary following a three-day Apostolic Visit during which he emphasized the need for fraternity, openness and inclusion.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Pope Francis took off from Budapest‘s Ferenc Liszt International Airport on Sunday evening, wrapping up his three-day 41st Apostolic Visit abroad.

An intense schedule saw him addressing political authorities, representatives of the Church in Hungary, and the world of culture.

He also took time, as always, to meet and greet the last and the least in society.

On Saturday, he spent time at an Institute for blind children and children with other special needs, and listened to the testimonies of poor people and of refugees assisted by Catholic aid organizations and by the Greek Catholic Church.

A brief farewell ceremony took place at the airport immediately before the Pope‘s departure in the presence of the Hungarian President, Katalin Novák, and a delegation of civil and Church representatives.

His ITA Airways flight is scheduled to arrive in Rome before 8 pm local time.

One last meeting in Hungary with Pope Francis


Pope to Hungary's academicians: Knowledge is humility, justice and peace

Pope Francis addresses Hungary's academicians and scientists at the last public event of his Apostolic Visit, and urges them to always be humble and recall that knowledge is truth and that truth is freedom.

By Francesca Merlo

Pope Francis’ final meeting in Budapest took place at the Péter Pázmány Catholic Universitywhere he spoke to representatives of Hungarian academicians and exponents of culture.

In his addresss, the Holy Father focused on the acquisition of knowledge, which he said “entails a constant planting of seeds that take root in the soil of reality and bear rich fruit.”

He recalled that Romano Guardini, “a great intellectual and a man of deep faith”, claimed that there were “two ways of ‘knowing’”: One is a gentle, relational knowledge and mastery, which Guardini described as “rule by service, creation out of natural possibilities, which does not transgress set limits”, and another which he described as not inspecting but analysing.

The machine

Pope Francis noted that, in this second form of knowledge, “materials and energy are directed to a single end: the machine”, and that as a result “a technique of controlling living people is developing.”

"Guardini did not demonize technology," noted the Pope, "which improves life and communication and brings many advantages, but he warned of the risk that it might end up controlling, if not dominating, our lives. He foresaw the threat and left us with the question: Can life retain its living character in this system?”

Contemporary reality

The Pope went on to note that much of what Guardini foresaw seems obvious to us today.

“We need but think of the ecological crisis, the lack of ethical boundaries, of our tendency to concentrate on the individual, absorbed in his or her needs, greedy for gain and power, and on the consequent erosion of communal bonds, with the result that alienation and anxiety are no longer merely existential crises, but societal problems," he said.

He went on to quote, as he has done before, the novel The Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson, describing it as being “to some degree prophetic in its description of a future dominated by technology, where everything is made bland and uniform in the name of progress, and a new 'humanitarianism' is proclaimed, cancelling diversity, suppressing the distinctiveness of peoples and abolishing religion.”

Real intellect includes humility

Pope Francis went on to stress that true intellectuals are truly humble. He explained that “they feel the duty to remain open and communicative, never unbending and combative. True lovers of culture, in fact, never feel entirely satisfied; they always experience a healthy interior restlessness.”

Truth is freedom

Pope Francis’ final point to the academic and cultural world reflected on the words of Jesus, when He said: “The truth will make you free”.

The Pope noted that “Hungary has seen a succession of ideologies that imposed themselves as truth, yet failed to bestow freedom”, adding that this risk remains to this day.

“I think of the shift from communism to consumerism,” said the Pope, noting how easy it is to pass from limits imposted on thinking, to the belief that there are no limits.

Instead, said Pope Francis, "Jesus offers a way forward; He tells us that truth frees us from our fixations and our narrowness. The key to accessing this truth is a form of knowledge that is never detached from love, a knowledge that is relational, humble and open, concrete and communal, courageous and constructive."

Universities, concluded the Pope, are called to cultivate this form of relational knowledge, expressing his hopes that all universities "will always be beacons of universality and freedom, fruitful workshops of humanism, laboratories of hope.”

Sunday Regina Caeli address from Hungary with Pope Francis


Hungarian women present Pope Francis with a bouquet of flowersHungarian women present Pope Francis with a bouquet of flowers  (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

Pope thanks Hungarians for welcome, prays for peace in nearby Ukraine

Praying the Regina Coeli at the conclusion of Mass in Budapest, Pope Francis thanks the authorities and people of Hungary for their warm welcome, and prays for peace across the European continent, especially in neighboring Ukraine.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis prayed the Regina Coeli on Sunday, at the conclusion of Mass in Hungary’s capital, Budapest.

In his remarks ahead of the traditional Eastertide Marian prayer, the Pope entrusted the people of Hungary to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Magna Domina Hungarorum.

“From this great city and from this noble country,” he said, “I desire to entrust to her heart the faith and the future of the entire continent of Europe, which has been on my mind in these days and, in particular, the cause of peace.”

Pope Francis prayed especially for “the neighbouring, beleaguered Ukrainian people and the Russian people, both consecrated to you.”

“You, who are the Queen of Peace,” he prayed, “instil in the hearts of peoples and their leaders the desire to build peace and to give the younger generations a future of hope, not war, a future full of cradles not tombs, a world of brothers and sisters, not walls and barricades.”

Prayers for Church in Europe

The Pope also recalled how the Virgin Mary accompanied the first steps of the early Christian community, holding the disciples together with her prayer.

He expressed his hopes that the Church in Europe might find in her “strength in prayer, renewed humility and obedience, and be an example of convincing witness and joyful proclamation.”

Gratitude for heartfelt welcome

Pope Francis went on to thank Hungary’s government authorities and all Hungarians for their heartfelt welcome and “the affection I have experience in these days.”

He especially thanked the many people who have travelled from afar to encounter him during his three-day Apostolic Journey.

“I think especially of the sick and the elderly, of those who were unable to be present with us, of those who are lonely and those who have lost faith in God and hope in life,” he said. “I am close to all of you; I pray for you and I give you my blessing.”

Christians ‘united in the Gospel’

Acknowledging the many people of other Christian confessions who followed his Visit to Hungary, the Pope urged Christians to always support one another, since we are all “united by the Gospel”.

He noted the words of Cardinal Peter Erdo, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, who pointed out that Hungary has lived “on the eastern border of Western Christianity for a thousand years.”

“It is a beautiful thing when borders do not represent boundaries that separate,” he said, “but points of contact, and when believers in Christ emphasize first the charity that unites us, rather than the historical, cultural and religious differences that divide us.”

Spreading the joy of Christ

Pope Francis concluded his Regina Coeli address by calling on the people of Hungary to spread the joy of Christ to all around them.

Isten éltessen! [Best wishes!].  With gratitude for these days, I keep you in my heart and I ask you to pray for me. Isten áld meg a magyart! [God bless the Hungarians!]”

Beautiful Sunday Mass in Budapest, Hungary with Pope Francis


Pope at Mass in Hungary: Christ calls us by name and sends us forth

Celebrating Sunday Mass in Budapest’s historic Kossuth Lajos Square, Pope Francis reflects on the image of the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and calls them by name, and then sends us forth to be witnesses of the Gospel.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis began his third and final day in Budapest with the celebration of Holy Mass with tens of thousands of faithful gathered in Kossuth Lajos Square in central Budapest.

The Holy Father based his homily on the Gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, which focuses on the figure of the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd, he said, “gives his life for his sheep.”

"Jesus, like a shepherd who goes in search of his flock, came to find us when we were lost," he said. "Like a shepherd, He came to snatch us from death."

Christ, the Good Shepherd, does two things in particular for His sheep, the Pope continued: He calls His sheep by name, and He leads them out.

Called by name

Pope Francis reminded the faithful that God calls each of us by our name, desiring “to save us from sin and death, to give us life in abundance and joy without end.”

“Jesus came as the Good Shepherd of humanity, to call us and bring us home.”

The Pope went on to explain that, as Christians, we are all “called by name by the Good Shepherd, summoned to receive and spread His love, to make His fold inclusive and never to exclude others.”

From this, he said, it follows that we are called to build fraternity and avoid divisions, “opening our hearts to mutual love.”

The Shepherd ‘leads them out’

After the Shepherd calls His sheep, the Pope continued, He goes on “to lead them out,” to send them forth into the world to be “witnesses of the love that has given us new birth.”

Introducing the image of the door, Pope Francis said that Jesus is the door that brings us “into the fold of the Church” and then “leads us back into the world.”

The Pope lamented the doors closed to the lonely, the underprivileged, foreigners, migrants; closed doors that are found “even in our ecclesial communities,” doors closed “to other people… to the world… to those who are ‘irregular’… those who long for God’s forgiveness.”

Pope Francis implored the faithful, “Please, let us open those doors! Let us try to be, in our words, deeds, and daily activities, like Jesus, an open door, a door that is never shut in anyone’s face, a door that enables everyone to enter and experience the beauty of God’s love.”

Be open doors!

Addressing bishops and priests, and all those who are "shepherds" within the Church, the Pope called them to be "increasingly open doors, 'facilitators' of God's grace.

He likewise called on the lay faithful, including catechists and pastoral workers, political and social leaders: "Be open doors! ... Be open and inclusive, then, and in this way, help Hungary to grow in fraternity, which is the path of peace."

The Holy Father concluded his homily by inviting the faithful to never be discouraged, and to remember that Jesus the Good Shepherd “calls us by name and cares for us with infinitely tender love.”

Saturday, April 29, 2023

This Pope is Sunday Saint of the Day


St. Pius V, Pope

Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost leaders of the Catholic Reformation. Born Antonio Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy, to a poor family, he labored as a shepherd until the age of fourteen and then joined the Dominicans, being ordained in 1528. Called Brother Michele, he studied at Bologna and Genoa, and then taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years before holding the posts of master of novices and prior for several Dominican houses. Named inquisitor for Como and Bergamo, he was so capable in the fulfillment of his office that by 1551, and at the urging of the powerful Cardinal Carafa, he was named by Pope Julius III commissary general of the Inquisition. In 1555, Carafa was elected Pope Paul IV and was responsible for Ghislieri's swift rise as a bishop of Nepi and Sutri in 1556, cardinal in 1557, and grand inquisitor in 1558. While out of favor for a time under Pope Pius IV who disliked his reputation for excessive zeal, Ghislieri was unanimously elected a pope in succession to Pius on January 7, 1566. As pope, Pius saw his main objective as the continuation of the massive program of reform for the Church, in particular the full implementation of the decrees of the Council of Trent. He published the Roman Catechism, the revised Roman Breviary, and the Roman Missal; he also declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church, commanded a new edition of the works of Thomas Aquinas, and created a commission to revise the Vulgate. The decrees of Trent were published throughout all Catholic lands, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World, and the pontiff insisted on their strict adherence. In 1571, Pius created the Congregation of the Index to give strength to the Church's resistance to Protestant and heretical writings, and he used the Inquisition to prevent any Protestant ideas from gaining a foot hold in Italy. In dealing with the threat of the Ottoman Turks who were advancing steadily across the Mediterranean, Pius organized a formidable alliance between Venice and Spain, culminating in the Battle of Lepanto, which was a complete and shattering triumph over the Turks. The day of the victory was declared the Feast Day of Our Lady of Victory in recognition of Our Lady's intercession in answer to the saying of the Rosary all over Catholic Europe. Pius also spurred the reforms of the Church by example. He insisted upon wearing his coarse Dominican robes, even beneath the magnificent vestments worn by the popes, and was wholeheartedly devoted to the religious life. His reign was blemished only by the continuing oppression of the Inquisition; the often brutal treatment of the Jews of Rome; and the ill advised decision to excommunicate Queen Elizabeth I of England  in February 1570, an act which also declared her deposed and which only worsened the plight of English Catholics. These were overshadowed in the view of later generations by his contributions to the Catholic Reformation. Pope Clement beatified him on May 1, 1672, and Pope Clement XI canonized him on May 22, 1712.

Pope Francis makes special visit with children with physical challenges


Pope Francis visits Blessed Laszlo home for blind children in Budapest

Pope Francis makes a private visit to the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute, a centre for blind children and children with disabilities in Budapest, and thanks the Hungarian children for their songs and witness of life.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis began the second day of his Apostolic Journey to Hungary with a visit to the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Catholic Social Institution, Kindergarten, Primary School, and Special Children’s Home for the Blind.

The Holy Father was welcomed to the Institute by its directory, György Inotay, who greeted the Pope with the Franciscan prayer for peace, which he read in Latin.

After a short tour of the facilities, Pope Francis attended a concert with works primarily by Hungarian composers. Following the concert, the Pope met with some of the children cared for in the home.

Embracing reality in all its forms

In brief off-the-cuff remarks, the Pope thanked the centre's director for beginning the event with the prayer associated with St. Francis, calling it "a program of life."

He said the saints always seek to embrace the reality of life around them and do something to improve the lives of others, without seeking to escape from reality.

"As we walk in our reality as it is, we need to strive ahead exactly in this reality, and this is the Gospel, pure and simple," said the Pope. "Jesus came to assume reality as it was and carry it forward."

He added that it would have been easier for Jesus to latch on to a simple ideology and proclaim it "without properly taking reality into account."

However, said the Pope, Jesus chose the path of reality, adding that this should be the goal of all Christians.

Pope Francis concluded his brief remarks by thanking the children for offering him a warm welcome to their home.

Charitable work of Blessed Laszlo Institute

The László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute, provides kindergarten and primary school education, as well as comprehensive care, for children with visual and motor disabilities.

Founded in 1982 by Sr Anna Fehér, with the help of Cardinal László Lékai, the Institute gives new hope and opportunities to visually impaired children and children with special educational needs, thanks to the presence of mental health professionals, modern educational and physiotherapeutic equipment, a swimming pool and a gymnasium.

It is named for Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann, a Hungarian aristocrat who became known for as “the doctor of the poor.” Blessed László was beatified by St John Paul II in 2003.

The Institute has been run since 2016 by the organisation “Kolping,” also known as “KOSZISZ,” which is directed by the Hungarian Bishops' Conference.