"Go to Joseph with extreme confidence, because I do not remember having asked anything from St. Joseph, without having obtained it readily."
~St. Padre Pio
The Year of St. Joseph

St. Joseph is the patron saint of the Universal Church, unborn babies, fathers, workers, travelers, immigrants, a happy death and many other things...listed here
By now you've probably heard about the Year of St. Joseph, but what is it and why is it important?

Just as the Church observes the Liturgical Year, the Church can also set aside time for the faithful to grow in love and devotion for a particular aspect of the faith. You may recall The Year of Mercy or the Year of the Eucharist. The Year of St. Joseph is aimed at helping the faithful (particularly families) grow in love and understanding of our spiritual father, Joseph, and through him our love of Christ.

Pope Francis made his announcement about the Year of St. Joseph on December 8, 2020 which is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. That day also marked the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the “Patron of the Universal Church” as declared by Pope Pius IX in 1870. 

The Year of St. Joseph runs through December 8, 2021, so there is still plenty of time to embrace this opportunity to learn more about him.  
Apostolic Letter on St. Joseph

The Holy Father began the Year of St. Joseph with the release of his latest Apostolic Letter Patris Corde (With a Father's Heart). In this letter the Holy Father shares his personal reflection on the importance of St. Joseph as the spouse of the Blessed Mother, foster-father of Our Lord and protector of the Church. 

The Holy Father wrote this letter during the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said, "has helped us see more clearly the importance of ordinary people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day."

St. Joseph is the epitome of the quiet, ordinary person moving behind the scenes - and yet he shapes all of human history with his quiet guidance, protection, holiness, and acceptance of God's will. Patris Corde highlights the virtues of St. Joseph that we are all called to emulate. Which virtue will you try to emulate?

The Year of St. Joseph & Indulgences

Upon the announcement of the Year of Saint Joseph, the Apostolic Penitentiary also issued a decree granting plenary indulgences to all Christian faithful during the same period. What is an indulgence and why would I want one? Simply put, an indulgence is a special grace that relives temporal punishment for our sins.

The Holy See has established special opportunities for the faithful to receive a plenary indulgence during this year devoted to the honor of Saint Joseph. An indulgence is a manner of attaining purification from the consequences of forgiven sins through the sincere practice of certain prayers and devotional exercises. All sins, even those for which we have been absolved, leave a certain effect upon our souls from which we require complete purification and continual amendment. This “temporal punishment due to sin” is what an indulgence remits.

The Church administers two kinds of indulgences: partial indulgences, which remit a certain degree of the temporal consequences of sins forgiven, and plenary indulgences, which remit entirely the temporal consequences due to sin. An indulgence should never be seen as a substitute for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, nor should they be seen as a license to continue in sin or to avoid growing spiritually closer to the perfect will of God.

Indulgences may be sought both for oneself as well as on behalf of someone who is deceased and undergoing the final purification before heaven known as Purgatory. Obviously, we who are living, in following the admonition of Saint Paul, are called “to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

For more reflection, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1471-1479.

For Indulgences—Broken Down into Sixteen Simple Propositions of Faith click here.
Ways to Receive an Indulgence
(During the year of St. Joseph)

  • Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Our Father
  • Participate in a spiritual retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on Saint Joseph
  • Perform a Corporal or Spiritual Work of Mercy
  • Recite the Holy Rosary in families and among engaged couples
  • Entrust one's daily work to the protection of St. Joseph the Worker
  • Pray the Litany of St. Joseph
  • Pray any lawfully approved prayer or act of piety in honor of Saint Joseph, for example “To you oh blessed Joseph,” especially on:
  • March 19th (Solemnity of St. Joseph)
  • May 1st (Feast of St. Joseph the Worker)
  • December 26th (Feast of the Holy Family)
  • The Sunday of Saint Joseph (according to the Byzantine tradition)
  • The 19th day of every month
  • Every Wednesday (a day dedicated to the memory of the Saint according to the Latin tradition)

The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of St. Joseph on these occasions and manners indicated by the Apostolic Penitentiary.
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, the gift of the plenary indulgence is also extended to the sick, the elderly, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are homebound. They too can obtain the plenary indulgences if they are detached from any sin and have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions and recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, offering to God the pains and hardships of their lives.
Ways to Celebrate St. Joseph
in Your Home

  • Place St. Joseph on your family altar/prayer table or mantel
  • Don't have a St. Joseph statue? Can you take him out of your Nativity? Print a picture of him, draw him or order one.
  • Create one on wood - instructions here
  • Celebrate St. Joseph feast days
  • March 19th with a St. Joseph Table
  • May 1st - St. Joseph the Worker
  • More ideas here
  • St. Joseph the Worker - Chore Chart (great way to embrace St. Joseph's servant heart)
  • St. Joseph - coloring pages & crafts
  • Consecration to St. Joseph
  • Learn about St. Joseph in Art History
  • Pray the Litany of St. Joseph or any any other prayer to St. Joseph
  • If not daily, Wednesdays (traditionally dedicated to St. Joseph) or the 19th of every month.
“Whereas Adam and Eve were the source of evil which was unleashed on the world, Joseph and Mary are the summit from which holiness spreads all over the earth.”
~Pope St. John Paul II 
Pope Francis' Prayer to St. Joseph
(Pope Francis is encouraging everyone to pray)

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.

A Child’s Prayer to St. Joseph
St. Joseph,
watch over me
and care for me
just as you cared for
the child Jesus;
and by your help,
may I come to know
your Son,
and so grow
in strength
and wisdom
and the favor of God.