The Year of Saint Joseph comes to an end on December 8 and these last 12 months have pushed people to draw closer to the head of the Holy Family and patron of the universal Church. The new and growing devotion has especially had a profound effect on men.
“The Year of Saint Joseph brought me to read, study and learn more about Saint Joseph. It made me realize that Saint Joseph is our spiritual father, ”said Robert Tunmire, president and executive director of the Catholic Men’s Leadership Alliance and co-founder of Heroic Men, linked to the registry. “He is the role model for the man, whether he is married or single. Saint Joseph was a just man, very humble. He followed God; protected Marie; protected Jesus. Joseph describes what we can and should all be as men. You can look at it from any angle and say, “Wow, this is the model! “
Tunmire added Saint Joseph to his list of favorite saints to whom he asks for daily intercession. On a larger level, due to his involvement in men’s groups, he saw a tremendous awakening of devotion to the earthly father of Jesus in North America. “For men in particular, the Year of Saint Joseph has had a huge impact. We hear it, and we see it, and I believe it will continue.
For Jeff Reither, director of parish and family life at St. Anne’s Church in Hamel, Minnesota, his journey with St. Joseph began before this year, with the book by Father Marian Donald Calloway. Consecration to Saint Joseph. “By chance – well, God knows what he’s doing – my 33-day consecration to Saint Joseph was the very night I spent the night at the Holy Sepulcher this year. I was able to dedicate my life to Jesus through Saint Joseph when I was alone in Christ’s tomb.
His dedication continues to grow.
“For me, St. Joseph is about being present,” Reither said. “He was present to Christ. He was present to his wife. He was present at the voice of God. By being present, he could act righteously. He was not distracted by outside forces – he simply responded to God’s call with action. He was obedient.
Reither’s devotion extended to his entire family. Being a husband and father of nine children – seven girls and two boys – he discovered that “studying Saint Joseph has enabled me to be more present to those with whom I am so that I can feel his presence in them”. He reported another spiritual benefit: “St. Joseph helped me to listen to the voice of God as he looked at his adoring Son, who is exactly the same Person that Saint Joseph adored in the stable. What a blessing. “
Jason Godin of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Edina, Minnesota, said his devotion to Saint Joseph deepened as he read and reflected in prayer through Father Calloway’s book. Consecration to Saint Joseph. Now, at the end of his daily Rosary, he adds: “St. Joseph, pray for us” and adds a title like “Protector of families”. This growing devotion also affected his role and active presence as a husband and father of two, and “increased my appreciation for silence,” Godin explained. From Joseph he learned the “greatest role that silence can have in the life of faith, practical faith in a world that is so loud. He is truly the model, the antidote to the inconveniences of this noise by finding time for silence.
This year, Father Jeffrey Kirby, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Lancaster, South Carolina, and author of Manual of suffering and True Religion: How to Avoid False Faith and Worship in Spirit and in Truth, said he “focused on preparation and dedication to the great saint.” He explained to the Register: “The preparation has helped me to see Saint Joseph in many different perspectives, to deepen my relationship with him and to grow in my appreciation of his faith, his docility and his fatherly concern for me and the Church. ”
Father Kirby invited his entire ward to join him – “and over 350 people have made the dedication with me! he apologized. “Everyone has developed a deeper love for Saint Joseph. It was a great blessing for the whole parish. The parish presbytery was dedicated to Saint Joseph and will soon have a statue in front, which should arrive and be blessed on December 8, “a spiritual fruit of this special year”.
Brother John Paul Fruge along with the Companions of the Cross studying for the priesthood in Louisiana was also drawn to Saint Joseph. In his youth he heard about Saint Joseph from his father, who handed out piles of Saint Joseph prayer cards. “My father was zealous in spreading them,” he said. The secular prayer asks for the protection of Saint Joseph: “Oh, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so prompt, so strong, before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and my desires. Oh, Saint Joseph, help me with your mighty intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So that having engaged here below your celestial power, I can offer my thanksgiving and my homage to the most loving of fathers. Oh, Saint Joseph, I never tire of contemplating you, you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while he rests near your heart. Squeeze him on my behalf and kiss his beautiful head for me and ask him to kiss me back when I take my last breath. Saint Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.”
Brother Jean-Paul was impressed by Joseph’s protective nature. “Its purity protects the dignity of others and allows others to flourish and bring out their gifts,” he said. “He embraces fatherhood with an adopted son. He takes responsibility for the Child. I see him as a huge model of fatherhood.
Saint Joseph, added Brother Jean-Paul, “inspires me, because, as a priest, I will not be a biological father but a spiritual father, charged with other souls and truly taking responsibility for them and greater sacrifices in their favor. Saint Joseph himself is a model. He sees Saint Joseph as “a great model of a man of great confidence in God”. On the Flight into Egypt, for example, “He showed great confidence in a very difficult time, and we see him doing it very faithfully and with great trust in God. This year, Brother John Paul and his peers followed Saint Joseph’s example when they had to “leave the seminary during the hurricane” – Ida – and face “how life has been altered by COVID. There was a temptation to be bitter. But they turned to the patron of the afflicted. “St. Joseph was in terrible and difficult situations, but he placed his trust in God. … She is a role model who has known hardships and disasters, but handed them over to God and did her best with the situation.
Ronald Nolin at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, Massachusetts, had not been to the sacrament of penance for several years.
This year, he explained, “in one way or another, Saint Joseph has occurred to me – to go to confession”. So he did.
Nolin is convinced that the invite came from Saint-Joseph. “I think it was really him who said, ‘It’s time to go back to confessing.’ I didn’t think about it and I didn’t ask him to make me go back to confession. Looks like he said to me, ‘It’s time I got you back on track.’ Since then, Nolin has continued to seek sacramental reconciliation.
The head of the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world also experienced the influence of Saint Joseph during this year dedicated to him. Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly of the Knights of Columbus told the Register: “Pope Francis has given the Church a great gift by declaring the Year of Saint Joseph. For the Knights of Columbus, this gift was all the more important as Saint-Joseph is a perfect model for the Knights. He was a man of courage and faith, who listened attentively to the Lord and never shied away from difficulties.
“Today you could say he was a man of deep character, a man who always tried to do the right thing. That’s why, on the day I was named Supreme Knight, I dedicated my leadership of the Knights of Columbus to Saint Joseph. I sincerely believe that it was providential that I was elected and installed Supreme Knight during the year of Saint Joseph. I look to him every day because his life embodied prayer, obedience and courage.
Kelly said, “My devotion to Saint Joseph has only intensified over the past year. In a footnote to Patris Corde, Pope Francis shared a prayer to Saint Joseph that the Holy Father has prayed daily for 40 years. I was deeply touched by this beautiful prayer and now I pray it every morning. She asks for the help of Saint Joseph in the serious and troubling situations that we entrust to her. I have this prayer on my desk at the office, and I pray it sometimes at other times of the day because I find it to be such a powerful prayer.
He also credits another devotion his wife presented to him – a devotion that is regaining popularity thanks to Pope Francis. “Vanessa gave us a statue of sleeping Saint Joseph, and our whole family writes our prayer intentions on little pieces of paper, and we put them under the statue. Thus Saint Joseph “sleeps” on these petitions which we entrust to his intercession. And it is incredibly effective. Weeks later, we remove the prayer requests and can go through each one, realizing, “Yes, it has been answered” or “Yes, it has been resolved,” and so on. It really is an extraordinary devotion.