The Year of St. Joseph is Here!
You may have heard that Pope Francis recently declared The Year of St. Joseph that runs from December 8, 2020 (the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) to the same date next year, 12/08/21. Here is a link to the short yet beautiful apostolic letter making this announcement Patris Corde (with a father's heart).
This is such an exciting and much needed development! In a world where the family is under heavy attack, where the Church is struggling in many ways, where the Faith is being thrown aside in favor of secularism, materialism, etc., where sexuality is used and abused at will and where Satan and his minions are clearly active in many aspects of society, St. Joseph is the many to turn to! Only Mary ranks higher than Joseph among the saints, so he is a really big deal! But he is also very humble and never speaks a word in the Bible, so he tends to be under most people's radar.
But Pope Francis wants that to change, and I wholeheartedly agree! Of course I'm a bit biased since St. Joseph is my patron, but nevertheless, all of us will do very well to befriend this wonderful and very powerful saint. Below are some resources that have been very useful for me and others in getting to know St. Joseph and allow him to come to our aid. The titles in red and underlined are linked up to take you directly to the websites containing the documents.
Remptoris Custos- "guardian of the Redeemer," a splendid document from St. John Paul II on St. Joseph from 1989 that provides wonderful background on this great saint and his role in God's plan to redeem humanity
Litany of St. Joseph- a beautiful prayer that highlights the many attributes of St. Joseph or areas where he has been known to intercede, such as Terror of Demons, Hope of the Sick, Patron of the Dying, Mirror of Patience, Pillar of Families and Protector of Holy Church.
St. Joseph Rosary- not a replacement for the Rosary that so many of us know and love that looks at the mysteries of Christ through Mary's eyes; this rosary walks us through the mysteries where Joseph is present in the Bible and we seem them through his eyes; it is to be used in addition to the Marian Rosary
Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father- this is a new book from Fr. Donald Calloway that is one of a kind in providing a rich immersion into the Church's teaching on St. Joseph over the centuries. Interestingly St. Joseph has remained largely in the shadow of Christ and Mary, but now is the time for the Church to more fully and comprehensively develop resources for the faithful to understand and invoke this crucial saint. As noted above, current circumstances cry out for this development. Fr. Calloway passionately moves us in that direction and bases his work on the Litany of St. Joseph mentioned above. He also uses the 33 day preparation model that is very popular in the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. And as with the St. Joseph Rosary, this consecration to Joseph does not replace its Marian predecessor.
The Cloak of St. Joseph- this is a 30 day prayer exercise or devotion to St. Joseph and another way to be immersed deeply into relationship with this great saint
The Mystery of Joseph- an amazing and intense book by Fr. Marie Dominque Philippe that examines the life of Joseph in light of God's plan for him and shows the great depth of the love he had for Mary and for God, along with the great love they had for him. A wonderful spiritual read!
These are the best resources I can muster at the moment, but I am confident that as this Year of St. Joseph unfolds, more will become available. So stay tuned. In the meantime, take some time to get to know this wonderful and powerful saint so he can start to work in your life and bring you ever deeper into relationship with Our Savior.