The Year of St. Joseph concludes December 8, 2020
Dear Confreres and Friends,
In consideration of the current times marked by anxieties caused by the spread of the coronavirus and the threats to
which families are exposed, and responding to the concern of the confreres, I decided to extend the celebration of the
Year of St. Joseph until December 8, 2020. This date also marks the 150th anniversary of the Quemadmodum Deus
decree (8.12.1870) with which Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church.
It is our hope that, through our commitment and the intercession of the Patron of the Universal Church, the spirit of faith
will be renewed and the world will find peace.
St. Joseph “silent teacher fascinates, attracts and teaches not with words but with the shining testimony of his virtues
and his firm simplicity” (Document of Aparecida, 274). His vocation is hidden in the light of the mystery of the incarnate
Word, and which the Gospel between a few lines, trace his figure by passing. As the spouse of Mary and a father of
Jesus, he participates closely in the work of the Redemption and through him, Jesus entered into the Davidic lineage
and becomes the heir of the messianic promises.
In the continuation of the Year of St. Joseph, the “Josephite lexicon”, that appears in the Gospels and which traces the
vivid portrait of our Saint, should inspire us. The reading of this essential vocabulary favors spiritual growth and spurs
• “Waking up from sleep” (Mt 1.24; 2.14) of the habit and opening our eyes to the essence of our vocation and mission.
• “Getting up” (Mt 2:13; 20) from mediocrity or falling, means rising to take a path that it is impossible to do in sitting
or lying down.
• “Do not be afraid” (Mt 1,20) but trust in God even when he invites us to take steps that seem too big for us.
• “To grow in age, wisdom and grace” (Lk 2.40), abandoning the comfort zone and living the vocation with gratitude
• “Doing” more than speaking, following the example of the one who without wandering and without twisting his nose
“did” (Mt 1,24; 2,24) as the angel ordered him.
•“Say yes” to God always also “in the night” (Mt 2:14) and not only sometimes and, mainly, “during the day”, that is,
when it is comfortable.
•“To become righteous” (Mt 1:19) by mending the day after day existence on the light of the Word of God.
•“Guarding” (Mt 2, 14) one’s neighbor and creation without forgetting to guard one’s heart, inner life and contemplative
•“To seek Jesus” (Lk 2:44) in the Scripture, in the poor, in history and to have a fixed appointment to find him every day
in the temple (cf. Lk 2:47).
•”Calling Jesus” (Mt 1:21) means invoking his holy name and praying “ad invicem,” that is, for each other.
•“Going” (Mt 2,20; 2,23) to proclaim the gospel with our lifestyle and with the word.
•“Take with you” (Mt 1,24; 2,13.14) the life of others by sharing their destiny and helping them to grow “in wisdom and
grace” (Lk 2,40).
In this moment of challenges that the church and the world faces, it is better to re-propose a famous a
well-known biblical phrase Ite ad Joseph (Go to Joseph). In the first place, these words recall the story of
the patriarch Joseph of the Old Testament, who in the time of anguish saved the people from hunger and
death: “So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told all the
Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” (Gen 41 .55; Ps 105, 16-20).
Instead, in the fullness of time, another Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary, nourishes, guards and protects
the Son of God; and these things, he does not only during the day, when everything is clear and safe, but also
“at night” (Mt 2:14), when obstacles seem difficult to overcome. The mission that God entrusts to him is to
be custos , guardian of Mary and Jesus, and this guardianship then extends to the Church (Cf. John Paul II,
Redemptoris Custos, 1).
With the whole Church, we implore the protection and intercession of St. Joseph, we recommend our concerns,
also the dangers that threaten the human family.
To you, O blessed Joseph,
we have recourse in our afflictions, and after having implored the
help of your thrice holy spouse, we now with hearts filled with
confidence earnestly beg you also to take us under your protection.
By that charity wherewith you were united to the Immaculate Virgin
Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which you did cherish
the Child Jesus, we beseech you and humbly pray that you will look
down with gracious eyes upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ
purchased by his blood and will succor us in our needs by your
power and strength.
Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen
offspring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all
blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, O most valiant
defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness.
And even as of old, you did rescue the Child Jesus from the peril
of his life, so now defend God’s holy Church from the snares of the
enemy and from all adversity.
Shield us ever under your patronage that, imitating your example
and strengthened by your help, we may live a holy life, die a happy
death and attain everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.
May St. Joseph obtain for the Church and for the world, as well as for each of us, the blessing of the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit. (Redemptoris Custos , 32).
With paternal greetings,
Very Reverend Jan Pelczarski, O.S.J.