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Feast of St Joseph
Today is the feast day of St Joseph, the spouse of Our Lady.
Pope Francis has dedicated this year to the patronage of St Joseph. “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.” It is interesting that Joseph never speaks in the gospel yet his place in Jesus’ life was irreplaceable. Take a moment to consider, and give thanks for the quiet people in your life.
Perhaps, as happens with many people, I think of Joseph the carpenter, the worker – identifying him by what he does rather than who he is. Maybe I have been guilty of this with people I see every day? Do I see their role rather than the person?
Adapted from Pray as You Go.
Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that by Saint Joseph’s intercession your Church may constantly watch over the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,
whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
The nuns of Mary, Queen of Apostles, sing the hymn Te Joseph Celebrent: O Joseph, may the heavenly hosts praise thee, may the choirs of Christendom glorify you.
Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.
This section is designed to be adapted depending on how you are gathering to pray. There are links to external resources for children and young people. There is also a reflection which can be used by individuals or adapted to be used in groups.
Excerpt from Pope Francis in Patris Corde
With a Fathers Heart: that is how Joseph loved Jesus, whom all four Gospels refer to as “the son of Joseph”.
Matthew and Luke, the two Evangelists who speak most of Joseph, tell us very little, yet enough for us to appreciate what sort of father he was, and the mission entrusted to him by God’s providence.
Now, one hundred and fifty years after his proclamation as Patron of the Catholic Church, I would like to share some personal reflections on this extraordinary figure, so close to our own human experience. For, as Jesus says, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt 12:34).
My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic, when we experienced, amid the crisis, how “our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked.
People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone…
How many people daily exercise patience and offer hope, taking care to spread not panic, but shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all”.
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. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.
A chance for children to learn to love St. Joseph while having fun with coloring!
Listen: Refugee King – An ode to the Holy Family
“To protect Jesus from Herod, Joseph dwelt as a foreigner in Egypt (Mt 2:13-18)”.
We now listen to this song that honours this part of the story of the Holy Family.
We now make our prayer to Saint Joseph using the prayer from Pope Francis.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.