Pope Francis launched an appeal for homeless families, after praying the Angelus with faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square this Sunday – the fourth Sunday of Advent. Prompted by a banner in St Peter’s Square that read, “The Poor Cannot Wait!” Pope Francis spoke of the great difficulties that families without fixed dwelling face – not unlike the Holy Family, to whom the Lord Jesus was born in a barn, and that experienced forced flight from their native land into Egypt. “Family and home go together,” said Pope Francis. He went on to say, “I call on everyone: individuals, organs of society, authorities, to do everything possible to assure that every family has a place to live.”
Ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father shared a brief reflection on the day’s Gospel reading, which is taken from the first chapter of the Gospel according to St Matthew and tells of the events that preceded the birth of Jesus from the point of view of St. Joseph, the betrothed of the Virgin Mary.