Pope Francis writes “Now, one hundred and fifty years after his proclamation as Patron of the Catholic Church by Blessed Pius IX, I would like to share some personal reflections on this extraordinary figure, so close to our human experience. My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic, when we experienced, amid the crisis, how ‘our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked. People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone… How many people daily exercise patience and offer hope, taking care to spread not panic, but shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents, and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead, and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all’. 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. St. 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.”
Pope Francis concludes his Letter with a prayer to St. Joseph:
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.