How to Celebrate the Year of St. Joseph

By Melissa Novak

Pillar of Families, Terror of Demons, Diligent Protector of Christ. These are just a few of the titles given to St. Joseph. We learn from Scripture that Joseph was a compassionate, righteous carpenter who demonstrated how to live a holy life. God chose him to be the earthly Father of Jesus, and for that reason he is our spiritual Father. Just like Mary, St. Joseph’s goal is to lead us to Jesus.

St. Joseph and Jesus

Pope Francis has declared 2021 the Year of St. Joseph. Here are a few ideas to help you celebrate this special observance:

  1. Some of the virtues of St. Joseph are chastity, faithfulness, patience, and humility. Choose one virtue that you would like to strengthen in your own life. Reflect on how you can best practice that virtue, what habits if any are hindering you from living out that virtue, and ask God to increase that virtue within you.

2. Learn more about St. Joseph! If you love to read, here are two book suggestions: Meet Your Spiritual Father by Mark Miravalle and the Consecration to St. Joseph by Fr. Don Calloway.

If you prefer movies or audio talks, check out these gems on FORMED:

  • St. Joseph of Nazareth (movie)
  • St. Joseph: Patron of the Universal Church by Mark Miravalle (audio talk)

To access these videos and talks for free, create your FORMED account here.

3. Pray the Litany to St. Joseph.

4. St. Joseph was a wood worker. Get handy by making your own birdhouse, jewelry frame, planter, or step stool. For some ideas, click here.

5. According to legend, the tradition of St. Joseph’s Table began in Italy in the middle ages. After drought and famine, the Sicilians prayed that St. Joseph would intercede for them. After it rained, they prepared a table with special foods to honor St. Joseph and to share with the poor. Then they distributed the food to the less fortunate. To learn more about this tradition and how you can make your own St. Joseph’s table on his feast day, March 19th, click here.

6. Two of St. Joseph’s titles are Hope of the Sick and Patron of the Dying. Take some type to pray for those who are sick and dying. Consider praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for them. Send them a card with a prayer or Scripture verse.

7. Reflect on the song “St. Joseph’s Lullaby.”

Kid-Friendly St. Joseph Ideas

  1. On FORMED, watch the cartoon Lukas the Storyteller: St. Joseph.
  2. Click here for a St. Joseph coloring page.
  3. Add an image of St. Joseph to your prayer table. Click here for printables.
  4. Play the St. Joseph memory game. Click here to print the game cards.

We have much to learn from St. Joseph, and in fostering a relationship with him, we will grow in holiness, and he will lead us closer to Christ.

“In human life, Joseph was Jesus’ teacher in their daily contact, full of refined affection, glad to deny himself to take better care of Jesus. Isn’t that reason enough for us to consider this just man, this holy patriarch, in whom the faith of the Old Covenant comes to full fruition, as a master of interior life? Interior life is nothing but continual and direct conversation with Christ, so as to become one with him. And Joseph can tell us many things about Jesus. Therefore, never neglect devotion to him—Ite ad Ioseph: “Go to Joseph”—as Christian tradition puts it in the words of the Old Testament (Gen 41:55)” 

– St. Josemaría Escriva

>>> NEXT: Why Do Catholics Honor Mary?

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