Pope Francis surprises us again! He’s been keeping busy during this pandemic and is marking the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as the patron of the universal Church in a special way. He has released a new apostolic letter, With a Father’s Heart (Patris corde), and proclaimed a special Year of Saint Joseph beginning on 12/8/20, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and extending to the same feast in 2021.
Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a father who was beloved, tender, loving, obedient, accepting, creatively courageous, working, and in the shadows. As he concludes the apostolic letter, Pope Francis encourages us to pray this prayer for our own conversion:
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.
Image credit: CIRIC International