For many of us, the only time we think about St. Joseph is around Christmas, when we put out the nativity scene or hear the narratives of the birth of Jesus. We know the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, was chosen by God to be His mother. However, Joseph was chosen as well ̶ chosen to be the earthly father of Jesus. While Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, he accepted the responsibility of being the father of Jesus.
In his Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes St. Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an accepting father, a father who is “creatively courageous.” Joseph defended, protected, cared for, and raised Jesus.
May all men look to St. Joseph and invoke his intercession, whether they are fathers or father figures. Pope Francis wrote:
“Fathers are not born, but made. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person.”
Prayer to St. Joseph by 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.
Anne Marie Strabala
Director of Faith Formation