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!
Weekly Communication Pieces for Year of St. Joseph
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
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.
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
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.
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.