Year of St Joseph and the Family
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, on the pastoral care of families, Pope Francis is calling for a Year of the Family from 19th March 2021 – 26th June 2022. The Church has always taught the importance of the Domestic Church and throughout the year we will be providing resources for families to pray together at home.
You may like to listen to a hymn written for the World Meeting of Families 2018 called ‘A Joy for all the Earth’ by Ephrem Feeley
Pope Francis has also called for the Year of St Joseph from 8th December 2020 – 8th December 2021. St Joseph has two feast days, 19th March (Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity) and 1st May (St Joseph the Worker) and Wednesdays are associated with St Joseph.
An Introduction from Bishop John
The Year of St Joseph & the Family
March 2021 – 2022
Although it may not be frequently mentioned, St Joseph is a Principal Patron of our Diocese. We will be celebrating his feast day on 19th March and we need to mark that day in a special way this year because Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph and the Family. That announcement was probably overshadowed by so much news about the pandemic but we have the year to remind ourselves of the important role of St Joseph in the history of our Faith and his example to us in his role as a protector and guardian of Mary and the child Jesus. In the secular age in which we live, we have a special need to “protect” the sense of Faith and all that it can provide for our world when we put gospel values into action to establish peace, the dignity of every human being, the sanctity of life from conception to its natural end and to eradicate poverty and suffering.
It is too easy to think of St Joseph as just one of the saints whose statues we see in many churches, or in the crib at Christmas. But his influence is strong, as a model of the best qualities of manhood, in providing security and well-being for his family and for his trust in all that God was asking of him. He has been the inspiration in the founding charism of several religious orders, including the Mill Hill Missionaries and the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph, founded in this Diocese.
We marked his goodness for many years in this Diocese particularly in what was known as “St Joseph’s Penny”, a collection for the poor and the needy, which became a foundation of the present valuable work of Caritas and its wide range of projects and programmes for those most in need in our towns and cities.
In this Diocese we will mark The Year of St Joseph and the Family together from 19th March 2021 – 19th March 2022.
St Joseph, pray for us.
Bishop John Arnold
“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. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”
Fr Kevin Murphy has written a Song for St Joseph, to celebrate the Year of St Joseph and Family.
Below the Cathedral Director of Music, Alex Patterson, can be heard singing the song:
A backing track can be heard below:
Feast of St Joseph the Worker
You can also find some of these resources for your use below:
God is present in each member of our family, especially when we pray together. At the back of this PDF (Appendix A) there is a special gift to you from Bishop John to help you to pray at Home.
You may wish to put this prayer focus in a special place, along with any other prayer cards, a cross and a light. Reflect on the images and pray for each other.
When you close the prayer focus, the Cross on the left door is the image for Hope in the Future in our Diocese. Jesus asks us and St Francis to ‘Rebuild His Church’.
Bishop John invites us to say our Diocesan prayer each day asking God to ‘Stay with us on our Journey’ which is shown on the right door. The image on the inside in the centre shows the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary & Joseph) which is a reflection of the Holy Trinity and your family. The icon on the front is of the Holy Trinity painted by Andrei Rublev. Notice there is a space at the table for you and your family to join God in prayer.
You may wish to print as one page, then cut out and stick together or print back-to-back.
© 2021 – The Holy Family of Bethlehem by Fr Chris Gorton, Cross at San Damiano and the Trinity by Andrei Rublev Andrei Rublev, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Dear Mother of God,
we are gathered together
to unite our hearts
to the heart of your Son and your heart.
We begin a special time
where we want to strengthen
the bonds of love within our family.
Implore for us the Holy Spirit.
May He teach us today,
to confidently walk the same path
as the Holy Family of Nazareth.
We give to you all that we are and have,
our daily challenges, our children,
and our unity and faithfulness as a couple.
We want to feel safe in your motherly hands,
and united to your Son
renew our faith, hope and love.
Dear Mother, stay with us
and teach us to walk with you,
and with your Son Jesus.
May we always walk with each other
and with our children.
God, Our Father,
loving and merciful, bring together and keep all families in perfect
unity of love and mutual support.
Instil in each member the spirit of understanding and affection for each other.
Keep quarrels and bitterness far from them, and for their occasional failures instil forgiveness and peace.
May the mutual love and affection of parents set a good example.
Instil in children self-respect that they may respect others and grow in mature independence.
May the mutual affection and respect of families be a sign of Christian life here and hereafter, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
O God, who were pleased to give us
the shining example of the Holy Family,
graciously grant that we may imitate them
in practising the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity,
and so, in the joy of your house,
delight one day in eternal rewards.
Pope Francis has encouraged us to say this prayer each day, asking the intercession of St Joseph, pillar of families and protector of Holy Church:
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.
Litany of St Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, pray for us.
Light of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most valiant, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of workmen, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us!
- He made him the lord of His household,
R. And prince over all His possessions.
Let Us Pray
O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer Before Work to St. Joseph the Worker
O Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labour, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honour to employ and develop by means of labour the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account that I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thy example, O Patriarch, Saint Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death. Amen. (Composed by Pope St. Pius X)
Memorare to St. Joseph
Remember, O most pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, my great protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection, or implored your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding therefore in your goodness, I come before you. Do not turn down my petitions, foster father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.
Consecration to St. Joseph
O dearest St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to thy honour and give myself to thee, that thou mayest always be my father, my protector, and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life. After thine example, may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary! And do thou, O Blessed St. Joseph, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of thy holy death Amen.
St. Joseph’s Holy Cloak Novena
Dreaming St Joseph
A few years ago, while visiting the Philippines, Pope Francis wove his love for St. Joseph into an address on prayer and family. Specifically, he spoke about a statue he has on his desk of the Sleeping St. Joseph. From the Gospels, we know that St. Joseph listened to God in his dreams and then rose to act on His will. Pope Francis shared with his audience that he asks St. Joseph to pray for his intentions by writing them down and slipping the paper under the statue of St. Joseph.
You could make your own by following this guide
or buy on below.
Sleeping Joseph Card
Triangular Prism with a prayer card from Pope Francis and pieces of paper to write your prayer intentions on to put underneath sleeping Joseph.
Only £1.00 each (plus postage & packaging) from Christian Resources.
Collection by appointment – 38 Kentstone Ave, Heaton Mersey, Stockport, SK4 3RE.
Call 07982 280 024 or firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to the Diocese of Charlotte and Drawn2Bcreative.com.
Image: Mission Together
Suggested ways for parishes to celebrate the Year of St Joseph:
- Offer the Votive Mass of St. Joseph on Wednesdays, the traditional day given to his honour.
- Recite a prayer to St. Joseph after daily Masses, such as the Litany of St. Joseph.
- Offer opportunities for parishioners to participate in a 33-day consecration to St Joseph.
- Plan special activities around his feast days (19th March & 1st May) and in the month of March.
You can view more resources here yearofstjoseph.org/resources/
Suggested ways for parishes to celebrate the Year of the Family:
- Celebrate a special Mass for Grandparents and the Elderly – Pope Francis has declared a day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday of July to coincide with the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents. The first celebration of this day will be July 25th.
- Celebrate significant wedding anniversaries and engagements.
- Study Amoris Laetitia in groups.