The Holy Father Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter titled Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”) declared 2020 a year of St Joseph to mark the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. The year of St. Joseph started from the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and ends on the same feast in 2021.
The Holy Father wrote Patris Corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19, he said this pandemic has helped us to see the importance of “ordinary” people who are not popular but offer hope every day, just like St. Joseph the man who goes unnoticed but played an incomparable role in the history of salvation. In the letter the Holy Father gave attributes of St. Joseph which should be emulated by all.
St. Joseph was a beloved, tender and obedient father who expressed his fatherhood by making an offering of himself in love, he was obedient to God’s will and gave his ‘fiat’, protecting Mary and Jesus. He welcomed God’s will because he accepted Mary unconditionally, and also accepted the personal responsibility for it. He was a creatively courageous father which showed in the way he dealt with difficulties. He is a father who teaches the value, dignity and joy of work, as a carpenter he earned an honest living to provide for his family. The Holy Father described St. Joseph as the earthly shadow of the heavenly Father, he didn’t focus on himself but on Mary and Jesus. Finally, the Pope urges us all to pray to St. Joseph using the prayer from 19th century French prayer book of the congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. This prayer, he says, expresses devotion and trust, and even poses a certain challenge to St. Joseph. He added another prayer to St. Joseph, which he encourages us all to pray together.