Today, on this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, in this grace-filled season of Advent, the Church celebrates a major event — the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being declared the Universal Patron and Protector of the Church by Blessed Pope Pius IX.
We are witnessing something truly remarkable and unprecedented. As of today, eleven dioceses in the United States have, to my knowledge, declared a Year of St. Joseph. Thousands of people around the world have or are in the process of consecrating themselves to St. Joseph. From all four corners of the globe, the cry is rising that now is the time of St. Joseph!
The veil covering St. Joseph in obscurity for centuries is being lifted, and the splendor of his mission is shining brightly; offering hope, transforming hearts, and impacting numerous lives the world-over.
We may ask the question, why has St. Joseph been reserved for these times? In a year that may feel darkened by a pandemic, lack of access to the Sacraments, civil unrest, natural disasters, not to mention all the ills we continue to witness, including gender ideology, attacks on marriage, human life, and the family, and the plague of fatherlessness, St. Joseph is providentially offered as a luminous beacon and as a sign of God’s constant solicitude and tender love for humanity.
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