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The Year of Saint Joseph to strengthen our Faith

World – Catholic Church, 8 December 2020 — On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (8 December 2020) Pope Francis through his Apostolic Letter ‘Patris Corde’ declared the Year of Saint Joseph for the whole Universal Church. In 2020 it is already 150 years since Pope Pius IX proclaimed St Joseph as the Patron Saint of the Universal Church in 1870.For the ordinary faithful the figure of Joseph may be not very much visible in the daily life of faith, although there are some regular and official occasions:

    • Month of March as the month of Saint Joseph (liturgical feast on March 19)
    • Every Wednesday is dedicated to St Joseph (Latin rite tradition)
    • Since May 2013 Pope Francis authorized the insertion of St Joseph in the 2nd-3rd-4th Eucharistic prayer
    • As a Carpenter he is a special protector of Workers (feast on May 1)
    • On the Feast of Holy Family we remember St. Joseph also in a special way (Christmas tide)
  • St Joseph as a special protector and model of Salesian Brothers

Around the East Asia – Oceania region we can encounter St Joseph as the Saint Patron of a large number of Vietnamese Salesians (and faithful as well), his statue is found in front of the St Joseph’s school in Ferntree Gully (Melbourne-Australia, by Br Michael Harris, SDB) and many other Salesian schools, chapels or youth centres. In the nine-page Apostolic Letter (Latin: Patris Corde – With a Father’s Heart) Pope Francis outlines the greatness of St. Joseph and his role within the community of Jesus disciples, concluding with a concrete invitation:

1. A Beloved Father

2. A Tender and Loving Father

3. An Obedient Father

4. An Accepting Father

5. A Creatively Courageous Father

6. A Working Father

7. A Father in the Shadows

During the Saint Joseph’s Year are also announced a special indulgencies

The brief Apostolic Letter ends with a simple invitation to follow St Joseph according to the command in Mathew’s Gospel: ‘Get up, take the child and his mother’ (Mt 2,13). The aim of this Apostolic Letter is to increase our Love for this great Saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal…

Jesus told us: ‘Learn from me, for I’m gentle and lowly in heart (Mt 11,29). The lives of the saints too, are examples to be imitated. Saint Paul explicitly says this: ‘Be imitators of me!’ (1 Cor 4,16). By his eloquent silence, Saint Joseph says the same. Before the example of so many holy men and women, Saint Augustine asked himself: What they could do, can you not also do?” ANd so he drew closer to his definitive conversion, when he could exclaim: ‘Late have I loved you, Beauty ever ancient, ever new!” – We need only ask Saint Joseph for the graces 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. Amen.”

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