The Year of St Joseph: Looking ahead as year of dedication comes to a closeTuesday 7th December 2021
For the past 12 months, the Church has held a special dedication to St Joseph – the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father of our Lord Jesus.
On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (8th December) last year, Pope Francis announced the dedication, offering it as an opportunity to “increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal.”
The announcement was accompanied by the Pope’s Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde – or With a Father’s Heart. This letter explores St Joseph’s role as protector, advocate, and guardian of the Holy Family and examines how we can use the example of St Joseph to shape our own lives and family dynamics.
Speaking ahead of St Joseph’s feast day on 19th March (and the launch of the Year of St Joseph and the Holy Family), Bishop John said:
“It is good 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.”
Now, as the year of dedication to St Joseph comes to a close, we continue to keep the example of St Joseph in our hearts and minds as we continue to prepare for the great feast of Christmas and the coming of the New Year.
We particularly pray that St Joseph will intercede for us as we begin our synodal journey; that his intercessions will help us discern what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and that we may better understand and become the Church and diocesan community God is calling us to be.