"They returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth"
The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus - the school of the Gospel. The first lesson we learn here is to look, to listen, to meditate and penetrate the meaning - at once so deep and so mysterious - of this very simple, very humble and very beautiful manifestation of the Son of God. Perhaps we learn, even imperceptibly, the lesson of imitation... How gladly would I become a child again, and go to school once more in this humble and sublime school of Nazareth: close to Mary, I wish I could make a fresh start at learning the true science of life and the higher wisdom of divine truths... First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us, besieged as we are by so many uplifted voices, the general noise and uproar, in our seething and oversensitized modern life. May the silence of Nazareth teach us recollection, inwardness, the disposition to listen to good inspirations and the teachings of true masters. May it teach us the need for and the value of preparation, of study, of meditation, of personal inner life, of the prayer which God alone sees in secret (Mt 6,6). Next, there is a lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character. Let us learn from Nazareth that the formation received at home is gentle and irreplaceable. Let us learn me prime importance of the role of the family in the social order. Finally, there is a lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the 'Carpenter's Son' (Mt 13,55), in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work; here I would restore the awareness of the nobility of work, and reaffirm that work cannot be an end in itself, but that its freedom and its excellence derive, over and above its economic worth, from the value of those for whose sake it is undertaken. And here at Nazareth I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern, their brother who is God. He is the prophet of all their just causes, Christ our Lord.
Homily by Pope Paul VI at Nazareth on 05/01/64 (breviary for the Holy Family)