Pope Francis has proclaimed a year of St. Joseph, from December 8, 2020, through December 8, 2021. He wrote an Apostolic Letter titled Patris Corde (With A Father’s Heart).
Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a tender and loving father, an obedient and accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows. In this Letter, he writes about Joseph, his attributes, role and connects it with everyday life.
Find Hope in St. Joseph
Jesus, the Son of God had a father, Joseph who as a foster-father was present to Jesus from the beginning of his life. Joseph, the chaste spouse of Mary, loved, parented, protected, and guided Jesus from birth. To know Joseph can give us inspiration and hope. Joseph inspires us to have faith in God when the going gets tough; because he went through some very tough times and through his faith and trust in God the result was peaceful. Joseph can give us hope because he was confident in his role as a husband, a foster father. He is a role-model of faithfulness, trust, hope, and courage. How many of us look for those qualities in others? When we can trust someone, we feel more confident. We are assured they have the courage and confidence in making the right decisions that are for the good of all.
We can see this in Saint Joseph. We call him a Saint because of these virtues and his heroic life. What makes someone a Saint? To be clear, the Catholic Church doesn’t make someone a saint. The Church recognizes the holiness and heroic faithfulness of certain individuals and honors some with the title of “Saint”. Their cooperation with God’s grace makes them a Saint.
St. Joseph’s Responsibility
St. Joseph, though essential to God’s plan of salvation is relatively unnoticed in the Gospels. He is not quoted as saying one word. Although he knew God called him to fulfill an important role in the lives of Jesus and Mary, he did so without expecting any favors or recognition.
He was given the awesome responsibility of providing for the necessities of life for Mary and Jesus. Next to God, St. Joseph’s priority was his family. He used every means at his disposal to provide for security and the necessities of life for those in his care. This he did through faithfulness, humility, and obedience, and he received no extraordinary reward during his lifetime except the joy and peace related to his faithfulness. His reward, like that of all the faithful — is everlasting happiness in heaven.
St. Joseph was a man of hope! Hope can be described as an unshakable trust and assurance that the promises of God will be fulfilled. A key to living a life of hope is trusting in God’s plan for us. Most of us would like to have at our disposal all the resources necessary for any crisis that might come our way; it is not possible. No one can prevent every tragedy, illness, or death that will be part of our life experience, but every one of us can be filled with hope when enduring trials if we are intimately connected to God in prayer and in His grace.
Find Inspiration in St. Joseph’s Witness
We see in St. Joseph what every man and woman can do. St. Joseph can be a paternal figure for us – he teaches us to trust in God’s plan for us while remaining in hope. When children see their parent(s) praying and talking about God, it gives them a great sense of security.
Through his witness, Joseph has been an inspiration for millions of men and women through the centuries. Hundreds of churches have been named after him and thousands of men have chosen the name Joseph in admiration of his faithfulness.
Pope Francis is convinced that Joseph teaches us to set aside all anger and disappointment, and to embrace the way things are, even when they do not turn out as we wish. Not with mere resignation but with hope and courage. Pope Francis is sure God used Joseph to achieve His purpose, and he is convinced God can use us, too.
Be inspired and learn more about this incredible man – Joseph!
Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.