Pope talks about devotion to saints
In his main audience talk, Pope Francis said he wanted to be clear about the difference between devotion to a saint, even to St. Joseph or Mary, and superstition or idolatry.
“Sometimes even Christianity can fall into forms of devotion that seem to reflect a mentality that is more pagan than Christian,” he said. But “the fundamental difference is that our prayer and the devotion of the faithful people is not based on trust in a human being, or in an image or an object, even when we know that they are sacred.”
“It is not the saints who work miracles, but only the grace of God that acts through them,” he said.
The saints, whether canonised or not, he said, are part of the community of the church, a gathering not of the perfect but of “saved sinners.”
And just as a person can have a friendship with another parishioner, he or she can have a relationship “with a brother or sister in heaven,” the pope said. “The saints are friends” and devotion “is actually a way of expressing the love that comes from this bond that unites us.”
“In Christ no one can ever truly separate us from those we love,” he said. “Only the manner of being with them changes, but nothing and no one can break this bond. The communion of saints holds together the community of believers on earth and in heaven.”
In conclusion, Pope Francis shared a prayer to St. Joseph which he has recited every day for over 40 years.
Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph,
whose power makes the impossible possible,
come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty.
Take under your protection the serious and troubling situations
that I commend to you, that they may have a happy outcome.
My beloved father, all my trust is in you.
Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain,
and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary,
show me that your goodness is as great as your power. Amen.