Year of St. Joseph
On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis proclaimed that the next 12 months will be a Year of Saint Joseph. The pope made the announcement on the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. In addition to an Apostolic Letter from the Holy Father entitled Patris Corde, an official decree was promulgated by the Apostolic Penitentiary establishing the Year of Saint Joseph so that every member of the faithful, following Saint Joseph’s example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God’s will.
The decree added that to mark the year the pope had granted special indulgences to Catholics who recite any approved prayer or act of piety in honor of Saint Joseph, noting the current health emergency and extending the indulgence in a particular way to the elderly, the sick, the dying, and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave the house. To reaffirm the universality of Saint Joseph’s patronage in the Church, the decree also encouraged prayers and pious acts during the year on days specially connected to Saint Joseph, including: the Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Husband of Mary, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, the Feast of the Holy Family, Saint Joseph Sunday in the Byzantine tradition, and the 19th of each month and every Wednesday (days dedicated to the saint in the Latin tradition).
Prayer to Saint Joseph
Beloved Saint Joseph, chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
provident and loving father of the Child Jesus
grant us in this Year of Grace under your protection,
that by your blessed intercession
our families be mirrors of holiness,
may they stay together
in mutual help, in the obedience of faith
and in a sincere desire to distance ourselves from sin.
May your holy figure of a Man of God
inspire all men to imitate your virtues
of humility, purity and trust in the Lord. Amen.
May we use the next 12 months in particular to “grow in devotion to the Patron of the Universal Church” (Redemptoris Custos, Pope Saint John Paul II).