Pope Francis proclaims Year of St Joseph

A sculpture of St. Joseph holding the baby Jesus in St. Joseph’s Church at Ayutthaya, Thailand. (Photo by Mminnano/shutterstock.com via LiCAS.news)

Pope Francis announced the start of the observance of a Year of St. Joseph on Dec. 8 to mark the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church.

The Year of St. Joseph aims to encourage the faithful to follow the saint’s example so that they may strengthen their “life of faith daily in the complete fulfilment of God’s will.”

The pontiff also issued an apostolic letter dedicated to the foster father of Jesus.

In the letter titled “Patris corde” or “With a father’s heart,” Pope Francis shared his “personal reflections” on St. Joseph.

“My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic,” he said, noting that many people had made hidden sacrifices during the crisis in order to protect others.

“Each of us can discover in Joseph — the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence — an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble,” he wrote.

“St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation,” said the pope.

Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph patron of the Universal Church on Dec. 8, 1870, in the decree “Quemadmodum Deus.”

In his apostolic letter, Pope Francis reflected on the fatherly qualities of St. Joseph, describing him as beloved, tender and loving, obedient, accepting, and “creatively courageous.” - LiCAS.news