CNA Staff, Feb 24, 2021 / 03:33 pm (CNA).- As part of the Year of Saint Joseph called for by Pope Francis, the National Shrine of St. Joseph will host a virtual conference and rededicate the saint’s statue. The event takes place on March 19, the S… […]
CNA Staff, Dec 14, 2020 / 02:09 pm (CNA).- During a time of civil unrest, and taking a cue from Pope Francis, the Catholic bishops of Angola have dedicated their country to the protection of St. Joseph.
According to Vatican News, the bishops said they… […]
Rome Newsroom, Dec 10, 2020 / 08:30 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has decreed a Year of St. Joseph in which Catholics will have the opportunity to obtain a special plenary indulgence.
Until December 2021, there are many new ways that Catholics can receive an indulgence, including entrusting their daily work to the protection of St. Joseph the Worker or reciting the rosary with their families.
These acts must be accompanied by sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the pope’s intentions, the usual conditions to obtain any plenary indulgence.
Plenary indulgences remit all temporal punishment due to sin and must be accompanied by full detachment from sin.
According to the decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary on Dec. 8, there are 15 ways to receive an indulgence in the Year of St. Joseph:
1) Participate in a spiritual retreat for at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph.
2) Pray for St. Joseph’s intercession for the unemployed that they might find dignifying work.
3) Recite the Litany of St. Joseph for persecuted Christians. Byzantine Catholics have the option of an Akathist to St. Joseph.
4) Entrust one’s daily work and activity to the protection of St. Joseph the Worker.
5) Follow St. Joseph’s example in performing a corporal work of mercy. These include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, visiting the sick, and burying the dead.
6) Perform one of the spiritual works of mercy, such as comforting the sorrowful, counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead.
7) Pray the rosary together with one’s family in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”
8) Engaged couples can also receive an indulgence from praying the rosary together.
9) Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, because St. Joseph “invites us to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.”
10) Pray an approved prayer to St. Joseph on St. Joseph Sunday, the Sunday after Christmas in the Byzantine Catholic tradition.
11) Celebrate the feast of St. Joseph on March 19 with an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph.
12) Pray an approved prayer to St. Joseph on the 19th of any month.
13) Honor Joseph with an act of piety or approved prayer on a Wednesday, the day traditionally dedicated to St. Joseph.
14) Pray to St. Joseph on the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 29.
15) Celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 with an act of piety or prayer.
“All the faithful will thus have the opportunity to commit themselves, with prayers and good works, to obtain with the help of St. Joseph, head of the celestial Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that today afflict the contemporary world,” the decree signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza said.
The elderly, the sick, and the dying who are unable to leave their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic also have special permission to receive an indulgence by “offering with trust in God the pains and discomforts” of their lives with a prayer to St. Joseph, hope of the sick and patron of a happy death.
The decree noted that in this instance the person must have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions for an indulgence, as well as a detachment from sin.
The Apostolic Penitentiary permits any prayer to St. Joseph approved by the Church, mentioning in particular the “To you, O blessed Joseph” prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII:
“To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.”
“O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.”
“As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.”
Vatican City, Dec 8, 2020 / 04:08 am (CNA).- Pope Francis announced a Year of St. Joseph Tuesday in honor of the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church.
The year begins Dec. 8, 2020, and concludes on Dec. 8, 2021, according to a decree authorized by the pope.
The decree said that Francis had established a Year of St. Joseph so that “every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God’s will.”
It added that the pope had granted special indulgences to mark the year.
The Dec. 8 decree was issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the dicastery of the Roman Curia that oversees indulgences, and signed by the Major Penitentiary, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, and the Regent, Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel.
In addition to the decree, Francis issued an apostolic letter Tuesday dedicated to the foster father of Jesus.
“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 in the letter, entitled Patris Corde (“With a father’s heart”) and dated Dec. 8.
“St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph patron of the Universal Church on Dec. 8, 1870, in the decree Quemadmodum Deus.
In its decree Tuesday, the Apostolic Penitentiary said that, “to reaffirm the universality of St. Joseph’s patronage in the Church,” it would grant a plenary indulgence to Catholics who recite any approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, especially on March 19, the saint’s solemnity, and May 1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
Other notable days for the plenary indulgence are the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 29, St. Joseph’s Sunday in the Byzantine tradition, the 19th of each month and every Wednesday, a day dedicated to the saint in the Latin tradition.
The Apostolic Penitentiary added: “In the current context of health emergency, the gift of the plenary indulgence is particularly extended to the elderly, the sick, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave the house, who, with a soul detached from any sin and with the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions, in their own home or where the impediment keeps them, recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, comfort of the sick and patron of a happy death, offering with trust in God the pains and discomforts of their life.”
The three conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence are sacramental confession, the reception of Holy Communion and prayer for the pope’s intentions.
Pope Francis has promoted devotion to St. Joseph throughout his pontificate.
He began his petrine ministry on March 19, 2013, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and dedicated the homily at his inauguration Mass to the saint.
“In the Gospels, St. Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love,” he said.
His coat of arms features a spikenard, which is associated with St. Joseph in Hispanic iconographic tradition.
On May 1, 2013, the pope authorized a decree instructing that St. Joseph’s name be inserted into Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV.
During an apostolic visit to the Philippines in 2015, the pope explained why he kept an image of the saint on his desk.
“I would also like to tell you something very personal,” he said. “I have great love for St. Joseph, because he is a man of silence and strength.”
“On my table I have an image of St. Joseph sleeping. Even when he is asleep, he is taking care of the Church! Yes! We know that he can do that. So when I have a problem, a difficulty, I write a little note and I put it underneath St. Joseph, so that he can dream about it! In other words I tell him: pray for this problem!”
At his general audience on March 18 this year, he urged Catholics to turn to St. Joseph in times of adversity.
“In life, at work and within the family, through joys and sorrows, he always sought and loved the Lord, deserving the Scriptures’ eulogy that described him as a just and wise man,” he said.
“Always invoke him, especially in difficult times and entrust your life to this great saint.”
The pope concluded his new apostolic letter by urging Catholics to pray to St. Joseph for “the grace of graces: our conversion.”
He ended the text with a prayer: “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.”