Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX, Pope Francis has declared December 8, 2020 – December 8, 2021, as the “Year of St. Joseph.”
In his Apostolic Letter entitled Patris Corde (with a father’s heart), Pope Francis shares some personal reflections on St. Joseph. His desire to share these reflections increased because of the pandemic crisis and how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people who are often overlooked. The Pope mentions all the essential people in our lives who have been there for us, and still are, during this pandemic.
“Each of us can discover in Joseph the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence — an intercessor, support, and a guide in time of trouble,” he says. He reflects on Joseph as a beloved, tender, loving, obedient, accepting, creatively courageous father; a working father, and a father in the shadows (of the Heavenly Father).
The aim of Pope Francis’ 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.”
Pope Francis asks us to pray the following prayer:
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.
As I reflect on all that Pope Francis shared in his Apostolic Letter about the virtues of
St. Joseph, the following question comes to mind: How can we, as Sisters of St. Joseph, Agrégées, and Associates, imitate St. Joseph’s virtues and his zeal in order to make the SSJ Mission Possible?