5 Things You Need to Know About St. Joe
St. Joseph is the ultimate dad. I tend to think about St. Joseph mostly around Christmas time. He catches my eye in the nativity sets as he stands in the stable with all the figure animals surrounding him, gazing at the newborn Jesus. In the readings at Mass, I am reminded of the courage it takes to bring a very pregnant lady on a journey to Bethlehem and, after the birth of Jesus, to lead his family to Egypt to escape from Herod. During the rest of the year, I forget the importance of St. Joseph and the impact his intercession could have on all seasons of my life.
Here are some things you should know about St. Joseph:
1. He is “dad goals”
Jesus entered the world through a human family. Although divine, he was obedient to his parents, as a child. In His example, as disciples of Jesus, we entrust ourselves to Joseph (and Mary) to learn how to grow in holiness. Joseph, being responsible for the upbringing of Jesus, shows us the natural love of a father’s heart. He protected and provided for the Holy Family, and even now he protects, defends, and provides for us, his spiritual children, and the Church. If God wished to entrust the plan of our salvation to the faithful St. Joseph, we should look into that. Especially if you are a father, you should look to him to guide your own fatherhood.
2. Pope Francis has declared this year as the Year of St. Joseph
What does that mean? Well, go back to December 8, 1870. Pope Pius X declared St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church. This year is the 150th anniversary of this proclamation, and given the state of the world, Pope Francis desires to bring attention to St. Joseph’s fatherly love and extraordinary holiness. This Year of St. Joseph runs from December 2020-December 2021 and aligns with the liturgical year. There are many ways to celebrate this special year, including participating in common devotions, celebrating his feast day, consecrating yourself to St. Joseph, and much more. Check out the letter from Pope Francis proclaiming the Year of St. Joseph.
3. There are SO many opportunities to receive a plenary indulgence during the year of St. Joseph.
Because of the Year of St. Joseph, there are special indulgences granted. Under the usual circumstances–sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father, “with a soul detached from any sin” we can receive plenary indulgences over and over again. As long as we’re in the state of grace one sacramental confession will be adequate for gaining several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father are required for each plenary indulgence. Here are the most recent church guidelines on receiving indulgences from the Apostolic Penitentiary (which is in charge of indulgences).
4. CONSECRATION! Do it!
Following the example of Jesus and entrusting yourself to the paternal care of St. Joseph can be a great way to grow in holiness. There are many ways to do this, but essentially you pick a feast day, and leading up to the feast you prepare yourself by intentionally praying for the intercession of St. Joseph, meditating on his life/example of faithfulness, and acknowledge him as your spiritual father. Consecration is a formal act of entrustment to your spiritual father so that he can take care of your spiritual well-being and lead you to God.
5. St. Joseph is a saint for all who are striving to be saints.
Throughout history, many saints have had a deep devotion to good ole St. Joe. Most notably, to me, is St. Teresa of Avila. She looked to him for everything. You can read about how his powerful intercession and her account of him providing for everything she asked of him. Here’s a list of a few other saints who had a special devotion to St. Joseph.
St. Teresa of Ávila said, “To other saints, it seems that God has granted to help us in this or that need, while I have experienced that the glorious St. Joseph extends his patronage on all.”
If we let him, this great saint will show us the love of a good father: which is an image of God the Father’s love for us. Entrust yourself, your fears, your hopes, your joys to St. Joe and he will bring you closer to the Lord and closer to becoming a saint.
St. Joseph, show us that your goodness is as great as your power!