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.
The pope explained in the letter, entitled Patris corde (“With a father’s heart”) and dated Dec. 8, that he wanted to share some “personal reflections” on the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic,” he said, noting that many people had made hidden sacrifices during the crisis in order to protect others.
“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.
“St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
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