A Year of St. Joseph

Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St. Joseph”

In December, Pope Francis released a new Apostolic Letter “Patris Corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”) recalling the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. The Holy Father also proclaimed a “Year of St. Joseph” from December 8, 2020, to December 2021.

In this new Apostolic Letter, Pope Francis describes St. Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, and accepting father, a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.

The pope explained in Patris corde (“With a father’s heart”) that he wanted to share some “personal reflections” on the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic,” he said, noting that many people had made hidden sacrifices during the crisis in order to protect others. “Each of us can discover in Joseph -- the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence -- an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble,” he wrote.

Holy Family is excited to spend the coming months celebrating St. Joseph as part of the patronage of our parish, growing in our understanding of this great saint, and living our faith under the example of St. Joseph’s virtues. This will include weekly updates in the bulletin and our webpage with St. Joseph prayers, quotes from saints on St. Joseph, monthly themes based on the virtues of St. Joseph, and exploring St. Joseph through sacred art. There will also be various events throughout the year including a study of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, St. Joseph Feast Day activities, parish Clean Up Day on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker and much more. Stay tuned!  St. Joseph, Pray for Us!

 


You are invited to deepen your Lenten journey by joining your fellow parishioners in a 9-day Novena to St. Joseph.

Pope Francis has named this to be the Year of St. Joseph. Begin your novena on Thursday, March 11th. You will them complete the ninth day on Friday, March 19th, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Click here to get started! 

What is a novena? A novena is a prayer with a specific intention offered nine days in a row. The origin of this type of prayer is from the nine days of prayer by the disciples and Mary between the Ascension and Pentecost.  In this case you can ask St. Joseph to intercede for your specific intention leading up to his feast day on March 19th.

Here are links to a variety of optional St. Joseph Novena resources:

Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Catholicnovenaapp.com

 


Weekly Communication Pieces for Year of St. Joseph

 

January 31:

Saintly Quotes about St. Joseph:

“In human life, Joseph was Jesus’ teacher in their daily contact, full of refined affection, glad to deny himself to take better care of Jesus. Isn’t that reason enough for us to consider this just man, this holy patriarch, in whom the faith of the Old Covenant comes to full fruition, as a master of interior life? Interior life is nothing but continual and direct conversation with Christ, so as to become one with him. And Joseph can tell us many things about Jesus. Therefore, never neglect devotion to him—Ite ad Ioseph: “Go to Joseph”—as Christian  tradition puts it in the words of the Old Testament (Gen 41:55)”   - St. Josemaría Escriva


Feb 7:

Monthly Themes for Year of St. Joseph: If we want to learn from St. Joseph, we must begin by imitating the virtues he practiced daily in his quiet, hidden life. The monthly themes for the Year of St. Joseph are taken from St. Joseph’s virtues and titles as prayed in the Litany of St. Joseph

Theme for February: St. Joseph, Most Valiant Protector of Church  

St. Joseph had the entire Church under his protection since the Holy Family was the Church. Our Lady is the Mother and Image of the Church, the Holy Spirit the soul of the Church, and Christ the Church’s head. To    Joseph, this treasure was entrusted and by his wit, his obedience, and his sacrifice he valiantly defended them.


Feb. 14:

Saintly Quotes about St. Joseph:

“Go to Joseph! Have recourse with special confidence to St. Joseph, for his protection is most powerful, as he is the patron of the universal Church.”  - Blessed Pope Pius IX


Feb. 21:

Exploring St. Joseph through Art: Mosaic Decoration in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Rome

The decoration of the Early Christian churches, and particularly of the basilicas, was mostly with mosaics. The largest series of early Christian mosaics in Rome are the panels on the triumphal arch and the nave walls of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. These extensive mosaics were completed between 432-40 AD. The arch is decorated with continuous New Testament scenes relating to the early life of   Jesus. Mary, the  Mother of God, is shown as the queen of Heaven, enthroned and dressed regally. Jesus is portrayed as a youth or young adult, not as an infant or child. On the top register, Saint Joseph can be seen to the right. Joseph is young, bearded, and garbed as a Roman of status befitting the consort of a queen. Here he is conversing with the angels announcing Jesus' birth and holding not a shepherd’s staff, but in his left hand a rod symbolizing the authority and responsibility, he has just been given. In the bottom register, Joseph stands on the left side, in Bethlehem, the city of David, the king from whose descendants, traced to  Joseph, Jesus was born. On the right is seen Jerusalem, the place of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

 


Feb. 28:

Year of St. Joseph Prayer:

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which    Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.


March 7:

Monthly Themes for Year of St. Joseph: If we want to learn from St. Joseph, we must begin by imitating the virtues he practiced daily in his quiet, hidden life. The monthly themes for the Year of St. Joseph are taken from St. Joseph’s virtues and titles as prayed in the Litany of St. Joseph.

Theme for March: St. Joseph, Most Just

Joseph was first and foremost just unto God, rendering to Him what was His due. Since all things are due to God, Joseph was perfectly religious in prayer, in labor, and in love giving to God, even as an infant, the energy of his whole life.


March 14:

Saintly Quotes about St. Joseph:

“Whereas Adam and Eve were the source of evil which was unleashed on the world, Joseph and Mary are the summit from which holiness spreads all over the earth.” – Pope St. John Paul II.


March 21:

Exploring St. Joseph through Art: Marriage of the Virgin – Giotto di Bondone (1305)

The earliest record of a formal devotional for Saint Joseph in Church comes from France in the year 800. As devotion to Joseph increased, the faithful sought details of his life beyond the sparse account found in Holy Scripture.  In the 13th century, various written and oral    apocryphal sources that comprised Church tradition were compiled by Jacobus de Varagine into a widely read work entitled Legenda Aurea or Legenda Santorum (in English, the Golden Legend).  At the height of the popularity of the Golden Legend, the great Porto-Renaissance artist, Giotto completed a monumental cycle of frescoes on the Life of the Virgin for the Cappella Scrovegni in Padua. In a new vivid       realism, Giotto shows us an older Saint Joseph, mature enough to be guardian and protector for the Virgin and her divine Son. As he      presents himself for marriage, Joseph is depicted once again holding the rod; this time it is not a symbol of authority, but a testimony to events depicted in the Legend account. Mary came of age to be betrothed and an angel told the priest to     summon marriageable men to the Temple with their rods where a sign would be given as to which is worthy to be betrothed to Mary. St. Joseph was chosen when a dove descended on his rod just as a flower sprouted forth from it.  From this point forward, the flower, most often a lily, became a standard symbol of Saint Joseph in Church art.

 


March 28:

Litany of S. Joseph:

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, pray for us.
Light of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.

Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most valiant, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of workmen, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us!

He made him the lord of His household,
R.And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray
O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.


April 4:

Theme for April: St. Joseph, Most Obedient and Head of Holy Family

All authority is borrowed except for the Author himself. One can only be a just head of a family, be it natural or religious, if one is first obedient to the Word himself. Joseph’s perfect obedience rendered him the perfect Head of the Holy Family.  


April 11:

Saintly Quotes about St. Joseph:

“In Joseph...heads of the household are blessed with the unsurpassed model of fatherly watchfulness and care.”


April 18:

Exploring St. Joseph through Art: Alessandro Botticelli (ca 1500)

Catholic religious art has been forever shaped by a group of 15th-century talents known as the Florentine School. The naturalistic style, first explored by artists such as Giotto, became the hallmark of early Renaissance Florentines including Fra Angelico, but perhaps no artist epitomized this group more than Sandro Botticelli.

Apprenticed as a youth to the Carmelite Fra Filippo Lippie, Botticelli grew up,     painted, and was buried all within blocks of his birthplace. Among his many surviving religious works are a series of adorations. It is in these adorations that we find a new and different symbolic understanding for the place of Saint Joseph in Catholic iconography.

Joseph is no longer a consort-protector attesting the Christ’s Davidic lineage, a man on the periphery, caring for the animals, or simply the rightful husband of Mary as told in The Golden Legend. At first glance, this painting shows Joseph taking a nap with the Christ child as the Blessed Virgin looks on, but Botticelli imbued his Saint Joseph with a deeper symbolism. In the dual and juxtaposed images of Mary and Joseph, we see an allusion to the Divine and Human natures of the child lovingly asleep between them. Joseph mirrors the needs and weaknesses of Christ’s humanity while the sinless Virgin gives adoration to the divinity of the very child she bore who is turned and presented in the image for the viewer to do the same. In this work, Saint Joseph, painted with exceptional detail and delicacy by Botticelli, the working-class son of a tanner, becomes an example of every man’s duty to God while Holy Mary demonstrates the need for us all to gaze in adoration upon Our Lord. All this was depicted at the very point in Church history when plagues and wars had brought the faithful to a greater appreciation for the value of Eucharistic Adoration.


April 25:

A Morning Offering Through St. Joseph

Receive me, dear and chosen Father, and the offering of every
movement of my body and soul, which I desire to present
through thee to my blessed Lord.

 

Purify all! Make all a perfect holocaust! May every pulsation
of my heart be a Spiritual Communion, every look and
thought an act of love, every action a sweet sacrifice,
every word an arrow of Divine love, every step
an advance toward Jesus, every visit to Our Lord as
pleasing to God as the errands of Angels, every thought
of thee, dear Saint, an act to remind thee that I am thy child.

 

I recommend to thee the occasions in which I usually fail,
particularly . . . [Mention these]. Accept each little devotion
of the day, though replete with imperfection, and offer it
to Jesus, Whose mercy will overlook all, since He
regards not so much the gift as the love of the giver.
Amen.