Last December 8, Pope Francis declared a Year of St. Joseph to be observed until December 8, 2021. The occasion for this declaration is the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX proclaiming St. Joseph as the patron of the universal Church, the Body of Christ, just as Joseph had been entrusted with watching over Jesus in His infancy and early life.
I encourage you to read Pope Francis’ apostolic letter, Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart) for yourself. You can find it in many places online; the official link is http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_letters/documents/papa-francesco-lettera-ap_20201208_patris-corde.html. Rather than summarizing the document, this space will share a few thoughts on the various aspects of St. Joseph’s life, and some reflection questions as we honor this man chosen by God for a unique role in the life of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary.
St. Joseph is a father; a husband; a protector of his family; a man of faith; a worker; a man of silence and humility; a person of obedience and creative courage. He is a model and an intercessor, especially for the needs of the Church and for those approaching death. He is an essential part of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the one chosen by God to be closest to Jesus and Mary in life. This year, may he teach us to grow closer to them, through the Heart of a Father.
Who is St. Joseph to you?