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The Year of St. Joseph

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In March 2020, the world as we knew it came to a stop with little time to prepare. However, through faith, initial fear turned into action and acceptance of how we must change going forward. Such fear and anxiety surely gripped St. Joseph when God called him to take Mary as his wife and the world as he knew it came to a stop. Through his strong faith, St. Joseph overcame his fear and accepted what was to be, taking on the role to protect his young family from the dark times ahead.

And, so it is fitting Pope Francis has called upon St. Joseph to be our role model, guide, counselor and intercessor during our own dark times. The pope declared the Year of St. Joseph from Dec. 8, 2020 through Dec. 8, 2021.

“In his Apostolic Letter Patris corde, the Holy Father explains that this proclamation was motivated by two reasons,” said Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. “First of all, it is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1870. Secondly, Pope Francis hopes that St. Joseph may serve as an inspiration and guide to all of us as we undergo the crisis of the ongoing pandemic. He writes, ‘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. St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.’

“Indeed, St. Joseph offers us an excellent example as we make our way through these difficult days that have been filled with unrest and uncertainty and fear. Again and again, God called Joseph to follow a path that was unclear, to journey to places that were unknown, and to make sacrifices that defied human calculation and worldly wisdom. As we look to St. Joseph’s holy example with a renewed focus this year, let us also entrust ourselves to his paternal love by asking him to walk with us, protect us, and bring us safely home to the Father’s House.” Along with the pope’s Apostolic Letter, the Apostolic Penitentiary has issued a decree for special indulgences throughout the Year of St. Joseph.

“For the Year of St. Joseph, there are 15 good works that will grant one an indulgence,” said Nicholas Hardesty, associate director of Adult Evangelization and RCIA. “These include praying for St. Joseph’s intercession for the unemployed; celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1; praying the Litany of St. Joseph for persecuted Christians; meditating on the Lord’s Prayer for at least 30 minutes or praying the Rosary with one’s family.”

Also, according to vaticannews.va, “the Apostolic Penitentiary grants a plenary indulgence to the faithful who will recite any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, for example, ‘To you, O blessed Joseph’” especially on Mar. 19, his feast day, and on May 1, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

For more information on plenary indulgences, prayers and devotions to St. Joseph, visit www.yearofstjoseph.org from the Diocese of Charlotte, or go to the website of the Oblates of St. Joseph, www.osjusa.org, and look in the top menu under “St. Joseph.”

“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. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”– Patris corde.

This article appeared in the March 2021 edition of  The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

For a PDF of this prayer, click Saint Joseph

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