"Joseph was chosen to educate a man who was true man, but who was also God. Only God could have educated such a person, but there wasn’t someone like that. The Lord chose a just man, a man of faith, a man who was capable of being a man, and also capable of speaking with God, of entering into God’s mystery. This was Joseph’s life.” Pope Francis 19 March 2020.
Pope Francis has declared 2021 the Year of St Joseph.
In his apostolic letter Patris Corde, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on the many aspects of Joseph’s life as the father of Jesus: as a tender and loving father of a child not biologically his own, as an accepting father and husband who trusted Mary unconditionally, as a working father who earned a living to provide for his family, as an obedient father who took his family to Egypt to escape persecution, as a creatively courageous father in the face of difficulties.
The aim of the apostolic letter is to: increase our love for this great saint; encourage us to implore his intercession; imitate his virtues and zeal.
Holy Family with bird. Painting by Murillo in Prado Museum Madrid.
Remembering St Joseph the worker during May
A reflection on St Joseph - the migrant worker by Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM, chair of the Australian Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, has written about the need to care for our migrant workers during the time of the pandemic. You can download the pdf HERE
Prayers to St Joseph
Every prayer book contains prayers to St Joseph. Francis gives us this one noting: 'Every day, for over forty years, following Lauds I have recited a prayer to Saint Joseph taken from a nineteenth-century French prayer book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. It expresses devotion and trust, and even poses a certain challenge to Saint Joseph.'
“Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph, whose power makes the impossible possible,
come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty.
Take under your protection the serious and troubling situations that I commend to you, that they may have a happy outcome.
My beloved father, all my trust is in you.
Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary,
show me that your goodness is as great as your power. Amen.”
Pope Francis concludes Patris Corde by fervently requesting that 'We need only ask Saint Joseph for the grace of graces: our conversion. Let us now make our prayer to him.'
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil.
Statue of St Joseph the worker in Casa Santa Marta
Feast Day of Hāto Hōhepa – St Joseph – 19 March
A large number of Catholic schools and parishes across Aotearoa New Zealand have chosen Hāto Hōhepa – St Joseph as their patron. Around this significant feast day of St Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us pray for the schools, parishes and organisations bearing the name and inspiration of Hāto Hōhepa – St Joseph.
One Quiet Man - new hymn to St Joseph from the Marist Australia website HERE
St Columbans Mission society beautiful 4 page publication on St Joseph worker and family man. HERE
Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart have published a range of beautiful resources. In particular a Week of Prayer leading up to the feast. HERE
A range of Vatican newsletters on the Year of St Joseph and Pope Francis homilies. Tag List HERE
Dunedin Bishop Michael Dooley reflects on St Joseph in the NZ Catholic. Read the article HERE
Fr James Lyons explores the significance of this saint for our time in WelCom HERE
Plans in your diocese to remember St Joseph during the year will be published. Check out your own diocesan website for more information.