The Year of St. Joseph
Prayer to St Joseph
(Which Pope Francis encourages all of us to pray together)
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.
With the Apostolic Letter ‘Patris Corde’ (‘With a Father’s Heart’), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a ‘Year of Saint Joseph’ from today, 8 December 2020, to 8 December 2021.
The Holy Father wrote ‘With a Father’s Heart’ against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of ‘ordinary’ people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, ‘the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,’ who nonetheless played ‘an incomparable role in the history of salvation.’ Pope Francis goes on to describe St Joseph as ‘a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.’
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, in his Pastoral Letter on the Feast of the Holy Family encourages us all to ‘ask St Joseph to keep a watchful eye on this family of the Church, to intercede on our behalf.
A tradition I treasure is that of always having a statue of St Joseph in the kitchen, so often the heart of the home. I recommend this to you. Bring St Joseph into your kitchen. Then he will be before your eyes each day, as protector and guide in these difficult times.
Pope Francis writes: ‘Joseph teaches us that faith in God includes believing he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses. He also teaches us that we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course. At times, we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture.’