Saint Joseph of the Gospel, pray for us

Year of Saint Joseph in our Archdiocese

On December 8, Pope Francis called a “Year of Saint Joseph” on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation by Blessed Pius IX of Saint Joseph as patron of the Universal Church.

A few days before he sent you a letter in which he remembered this ecclesial event, offering some keys
to help us contemplate and imitate Saint Joseph as the Gospel presents him.

Now, on the occasion of the precious initiative of Pope Francis with this “Year of Saint Joseph” I wanted to invite the entire archdiocese to put the figure and intercession of the “Custodian of the Redeemer” at the heart of our diocesan life.

The convocation of the Holy Father takes place in the middle of the pastoral course already programmed and with the jubilee year of Guadalupe
that we are also celebrating in our archdiocese.

My desire, therefore, is not so much to offer more activities but to encourage the model and intercession of Saint Joseph
spiritually accompany all the pastoral care of our archdiocese, in parishes, apostolic movements, delegations

For this I especially invite you to read and reflect in your religious communities, parishes, families and movements.
and associations with the Apostolic letter of the Pope “Patris Corde”. In this letter we find a whole program of life, following
the example of Saint Joseph, for our mission as Christians at this moment in history that we have lived.

Also through the Apostolic Penitentiary, multiple paths have been proposed to us through which we can
benefit, both we and the souls in purgatory, of the “channel of grace” that the Church offers for this Year of Saint Joseph.

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To understand the meaning of a Year dedicated to Saint Joseph, I invite you to look at the colossal image of the painting
del Greco “Saint Joseph and the Child” which is preserved in the chapel dedicated to the Saint in our city. Contemplating this beautiful painting, we are presented with three aspects about the Custodian of the Redeemer that can fill the various
proposals that the Pope offers us for this year of grace. I also offer you, together with this contemplation, some
concrete signs to help you live this Year of Saint Joseph in our archdiocese:

1.- Saint Joseph appears as a walker, he carries in his right hand a long cane that seems to serve as a cane
of walker and of staff or pastoral staff. San José knows about roads. The path he traveled in the gospel was with Mary
the way of faith. Mateo tells us that he was a “just man.” And “just” as Saint Paul says is “he who lives by faith.” He “believed
against all hope ”in the midst of the trials and difficulties that came his way, obeying with docility and haste to
the word of the Lord who spoke to him mainly in dreams. Saint Joseph walks with us and like us in the midst of
the trials and difficulties of life. And it also meets all those who are at the crossroads of history
alone or grieving; for suffering, spiritual or material deficiencies.

Saint Joseph as “master of the interior life” becomes found in our daily walk. The Apostolic Penitentiary
invites us to walk with Saint Joseph in our ordinary life: offering our work and daily activities to the Saint
Patriarch, praying some approved prayer to Saint Joseph during the day, meditating thirty minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, dedicating
a day of retreat to consider some Gospel passage from the life of Saint Joseph, especially the 19th of each month.

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We can express our concern for the poor and needy, whom Saint Joseph invites us to accompany, by carrying out some work of spiritual or corporal mercy through which we can also benefit from the “jubilee” indulgence.


+ Francisco Cerro Chaves

Archbishop of Toledo

Primate of Spain


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