Devotees of St. Joseph, get excited! To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX proclaiming St. Joseph patron of the universal church, Pope Francis has declared a Year of St. Joseph. The year begins on December 8, 2020 and will end December 8, 2021. Accompanying the degree, the Pope released an apostolic letter about St. Joseph.
You can also read Pope Pius IX’s decree, Quemadmodum Deus, to kick things off for your celebrations.
His Holiness granted a special plenary indulgence to anyone who recites any approved prayer or “act of piety” in honor of St. Joseph on one (or more) of the following days:
- March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph;
- May 1, Feast of St. Joseph the Worker;
- December 29, Feast of the Holy Family;
- St. Joseph’s Sunday (Byzantine tradition);
- the 19th of every month;
- every Wednesday (the day of the week dedicated to St. Joseph).
A plenary indulgence is a total remission of temporal punishment for confessed sin and can be applied to others, like the sick, dying, and the souls in Purgatory. That would be really fitting, as St. Joseph is the patron saint of the dying.
To gain a plenary indulgence, you must be detached from all sin (even venial), perform the act, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Pope’s intentions. Confession and receiving Communion don’t have to be on the same day. One confession is good for several indulgences.
For a really great, in-depth explanation about indulgences and how to gain them, click here. Do your best and God will bless you for it.
Celebrating the Year of St. Joseph
Allow me to recommend some great ways of celebrating this Year of St. Joseph!
- Gain the Indulgences, not just for yourself but for others.
- Pray in a special way for the fatherless, broken families, adoptive fathers, and men who want to become fathers.
- Visit a shrine or church dedicated to St. Joseph.
- Learn about the devotion to the Chaste Heart.
- Display an image of the saint in your home.
- Make the consecration to St. Joseph. (I have made this consecration and I HIGHLY recommend it.)
- Read books and encyclicals about the adoptive father of Jesus.
- Consecration to St. Joseph; The Wonders of our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
- The Life and Glories of St. Joseph by Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.
- The Truth about Saint Joseph; Encountering the Most Hidden of Saints by Fr. Maurice Meschler
- A Manual of Practical Devtion to St. Joseph by Fr. Patrignani, S.J.
- St. Joseph, Fatima and Fatherhood: Reflections on the Miracle of the Sun by Msgr. Joseph A. Cirrincione
- St. Joseph Prayer Book (NB: This book was published on the order of Bishop Jugis of Charlotte, NC to help his diocese celebrate their year of St. Joseph.)
Prayers to St. Joseph
Hail Joseph, full of grace! Jesus and Mary are with thee; blessed art thou amongst men, and blessed is the hit of thy chaste Spouse, Jesus. Holy Joseph, nursing-father of Jesus, and spouse of the blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Joseph to Obtain Light Upon the Choice of a State of Life
Great Saint, who wast so docile to the leading of the Holy Spirit, obtain for me grace to know to what state Providence has destined me. Do not permit me to err in this important choice, upon which depends my happiness in this world, and perhaps my eternal salvation, but obtain for me, that, enlightened concerning the Divine Will, and being faithful in following it, I may walk in the way that the LORD has determined for me, which will conduct me to a blessed eternity. Amen.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give Thee my heart and my soul. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with thee.