A Note From Fr. Timothy
Closing the Year of St. Joseph
As Fr. LeRoy marked in his bulletin article last week, we as a Church transition into a new liturgical year beginning the first day of Advent. It marks a close to the previous year and a start of something new. We should also note another specific aspect of the closing of the last liturgical year – the ending of the Year of St. Joseph that Pope Francis had called for the entire Church. In the year dedicated to St. Joseph, we were asked to pray for St. Joseph’s intercession, particularly that he would provide, guide, and protect the Church as he did for Christ during his life.
At the Church of St. Joseph in Waite Park, we wanted to deliberately and continually invoke our patron’s help by praying Pope Leo XIII’s Prayer to St. Joseph at each Mass throughout the year. We placed the statue of St. Joseph much more prominently in the sanctuary, and we sought to celebrate his feast days with particular devotion. Though COVID-19 may have hindered some of the ways we might have been able to gather as a community and honor St. Joseph, it was especially fitting to have him interceding for us during these difficult times.
The Litany of St. Joseph calls upon him in his numerous titles to help us in specific ways as the patron of so many places and people including as the: Mirror of Patience, Model of Workers, Guardian of Virgins, Pillar of Families, Hope of the Sick, Patron of the Dying, Terror of Demons, Protector of the Holy Church, and others. It is no wonder that St Joseph (or San José) is the most common place name in the world.
Now that the Year of St. Joseph has officially closed, it does not mean that St. Joseph stops helping us or that we stop asking for his intercessions. Just as we continue to invoke Mary’s help even outside of her feast days, so we will continue to call upon St. Joseph in the days and years ahead. So, I will include our prayer to St. Joseph here one more time, and hopefully you can join in offering this powerful prayer:
To you, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of your most holy spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg you to take us under your protection. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.
Defend O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and strengthened by your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, die a happy death, and obtain everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Fr. Timothy Gapinski