On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis proclaimed a yearlong celebration dedicated to the foster father of Jesus, marking the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being declared patron of the universal Church by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1870.
In 1847, when our diocese was founded, the Diocese of Buffalo was placed under the patronage of St. Joseph.
In his apostolic letter, “Patris Corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), recalled that St. Joseph often goes unnoticed. “With a Father’s Heart,” St. Joseph loved Jesus. We know that he was a carpenter, betrothed to Mary. He was a “just man ready to carry out God’s will. The greatness of St. Joseph is that he was the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus. St. Joseph is an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble.
St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an outstanding role in the history of salvation. St. Joseph was called by God to serve the person and mission of Jesus through the exercise of his fatherhood.
Pope Francis pointed out that “Today, in our world where psychological, verbal and physical violence toward women is so evident, Joseph appears as the figure of a respectful and sensitive man.” He goes on to say: “The Holy Family had to face concrete problems like every other family, like so many of our migrant brothers and sisters who, today, too, risk their lives to escape misfortune and hunger. In this regard, I consider St. Joseph the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution, and poverty.”
St. Joseph as a carpenter who earned “an honest living to provide for his family” is an example for both workers and those seeking employment. St. Joseph demonstrates the importance of dignified work and also is known as the Patron Saint of Workers.