Friday, March 19, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Saturday, March 20, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 249
Reading I
Jer 11:18-20
I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.
Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”
    But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
        searcher of mind and heart,
    Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
        for to you I have entrusted my cause!
(Mass Start at the 3:25 Mark below)  
 Responsorial Psalm
7:2-3, 9bc-10, 11-12
R.    (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
    save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
    to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R.    O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
    and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
    but sustain the just,
    O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R.    O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
    who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
    a God who punishes day by day.
R.    O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Verse before the Gospel
See Lk 8:15
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
Gospel
Jn 7:40-53
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, 
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Then each went to his own house.
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint March 20 : Saint Cuthbert a Bishop who was Devoted to the Mass, which he could not Celebrate Without Tears

Bishop of Lindisfarne, patron of Durham, born about 635; died 20 March, 687. His emblem is the head of St. Oswald, king and martyr, which he is represented as bearing in his hands. His feast is kept in Great Britain and Ireland on the 20th of March, and he is patron of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, where his commemoration is inserted among the Suffrages of the Saints. His early biographers give no particulars of his birth, and the accounts in the "Libellus de ortu", which represent him as the son of an Irish king named Muriahdach, though recently supported by Cardinal Moran and Archbishop Healy, are rejected by later English writers as legendary.
Moreover, St. Bede's phrase, Brittania . . . genuit (Vita Metricia, c. i), points to his English birth. He was probably born in the neighbourhood of Mailros (Melrose) of lowly parentage, for as a boy he used to tend sheep on the mountain-sides near that monastery. While still a child living with his foster-mother Kenswith his future lot as bishop had been foretold by a little play-fellow, whose prophecy had a lasting effect on his character.
He was influenced, too, by the holiness of the community of Mailros, where St. Eata was abbot and St. Basil prior. In the year 651, while watching his sheep, he saw in a vision the soul of St. Aidan carried to heaven by angels, and inspired by this became a monk at Mailros. Yet it would seem that the troubled state of the country hindered him from carrying out his resolution at once. Certain it is that at one part of his life he was a soldier, and the years which succeed the death of St. Aidan and Oswin of Deira seem to have been such as would call for the military service of most of the able-bodied men of Northumbria, which was constantly threatened at this time by the ambition of its southern neighbor, King Penda of Mercia. Peace was not restored to the land until some four years later, as the consequence of a great battle which was fought between the Northumbrians and the Mercians at Winwidfield.
 It was probably after this battle that Cuthbert found himself free once more to turn to the life he desired. He arrived at Mailros on horseback and armed with a spear. Here he soon became eminent for holiness and learning, while from the first his life was distinguished by supernatural occurrences and miracles. When the monastery at Ripon was founded he went there as guest-master, but in 661 he, with other monks who adhered to the customs of Celtic Christianity, returned to Mailros owing to the adoption at Ripon of the Roman Usage in celebrating Easter and other matters. Shortly after his return he was struck by a pestilence which then attacked the community, but he recovered, and became prior in place of St. Boisil, who died of the disease in 664. In this year the Synod of Whitby decided in favour of the Roman Usage, and St. Cuthbert, who accepted the decision, was sent by St. Eata to be prior at Lindisfarne, in order that he might introduce the Roman customs into that house. This was a difficult matter which needed all his gentle tact and patience to carry out successfully, but the fact that one so renowned for sanctity, who had himself been brought up in the Celtic tradition, was loyally conforming to the Roman use, did much to support the cause of St. Wilfrid. In this matter St. Cuthbert's influence on his time was very marked. At Lindisfarne he spent much time in evangelizing the people. He was noted for his devotion to the Mass, which he could not celebrate without tears, and for the success with which his zealous charity drew sinners to God.
 At length, in 676, moved by a desire to attain greater perfection by means of the contemplative life, he retired, with the abbot's leave, to a spot which Archbishop Eyre identifies with St. Cuthbert's Island near Lindisfarne, but which Raine thinks was near Holburn, where "St. Cuthbert's Cave" is still shown. Shortly afterwards he removed to Farne Island, opposite Bamborough in Northumberland, where he gave himself up to a life of great austerity. After some years he was called from this retirement by a synod of bishops held at Twyford in Northumberland, under St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. At this meeting he was elected Bishop of Lindisfarne, as St. Eata was now translated to Hexham. For a long time he withstood all pressure and only yielded after a long struggle. He was consecrated at York by St. Theodore in the presence of six bishops, at Easter, 685. For two years he acted as bishop, preaching and labouring without intermission, with wonderful results. At Christmas, 686, foreseeing the near approach of death, he resigned his see and returned to his cell on Farne Island, where two months later he was seized with a fatal illness. In his last days, in March, 687, he was tended by monks of Lindisfarne, and received the last sacraments from Abbot Herefrid, to whom he spoke his farewell words, exhorting the monks to be faithful to Catholic unity and the traditions of the Fathers. He died shortly after midnight, and at exactly the same hour that night his friend St. Herbert, the hermit, also died, as St. Cuthbert had predicted.
St. Cuthbert was buried in his monastery at Lindisfarne, and his tomb immediately became celebrated for remarkable miracles. These were so numerous and extraordinary that he was called the "Wonder-worker of England". In 698 the first transfer of the relics took place, and the body was found incorrupt. During the Danish invasion of 875, Bishop Eardulf and the monks fled for safety, carrying the body of the saint with them. For seven years they wandered, bearing it first into Cumberland, then into Galloway and back to Northumberland. In 883 it was placed in a church at Chester-le-Street, near Durham, given to the monks by the converted Danish king, who had a great devotion to the saint, like King Alfred, who also honoured St. Cuthbert as his patron and was a benefactor to this church. Towards the end of the tenth century, the shrine was removed to Ripon, owing to fears of fresh invasion. After a few months it was being carried back to be restored to Chester-le-Street, when, on arriving at Durham a new miracle, tradition says, indicated that this was to be the resting-place of the saint's body. Here it remained, first in a chapel formed of boughs, then in a wooden and finally in a stone church, built on the present site of Durham cathedral, and finished in 998 or 999. While William the Conqueror was ravaging the North in 1069, the body was once more removed, this time to Lindisfarne, but it was soon restored. In 1104, the shrine was transferred to the present cathedral, when the body was again found incorrupt, with it being the head of St. Oswald, which had been placed with St. Cuthbert's body for safety — a fact which accounts for the well-known symbol of the saint.
From this time to the Reformation the shrine remained the great centre of devotion throughout the North of England. In 1542 it was plundered of all its treasures, but the monks had already hidden the saint's body in a secret place. There is a well-known tradition, alluded to in Scott's "Marmion", to the effect that the secret of the hiding-place is known to certain Benedictines who hand it down from one generation to another. In 1827 the Anglican clergy of the cathedral found a tomb alleged to be that of the saint, but the discovery was challenged by Dr. Lingard, who showed cause for doubting the identity of the body found with that of St. Cuthbert. Archbishop Eyre, writing in 1849, considered that the coffin found was undoubtedly that of the saint, but that the body had been removed and other remains substituted, while a later writer, Monsignor Consitt, though not expressing a definite view, seems inclined to allow that the remains found in 1827 were truly the bones of St. Cuthbert. Many traces of the former widespread devotion to St. Cuthbert still survive in the numerous churches, monuments, and crosses raised in his honour, and in such terms as "St. Cuthbert's patrimony", "St. Cuthbert's Cross", "Cuthbert ducks" and "Cuthbert down". The centre of modern devotion to him is found at St. Cuthbert's College, Ushaw, near Durham, where the episcopal ring of gold, enclosing a sapphire, taken from his finger in 1537, is preserved, and where under his patronage most of the priests for the northern counties of England are trained. His name is connected with two famous early copies of the Gospel text. The first, known as the Lindisfarne or Cuthbert Gospels (now in the British Museum, Cotton manuscripts Nero D 4), was written in the eighth century by Eadfrid, Bishop of Lindisfarne. It contains the four gospels and between the lines a number of valuable Anglo-Saxon (Northumbrian) glosses; though written by an Anglo-Saxon hand it is considered by the best judges (Westwood) a noble work of old-Irish calligraphy and illumination, Lindisfarne as is well known being an Irish foundation. The manuscript, one of the most splendid in Europe, was originally placed by its scribe as an offering on the shrine of Cuthbert, and was soon richly decorated by monastic artists (Ethelwold, Bilfrid) and provided by another (Aldred) with the aforesaid interlinear gloss (Karl Bouterwek, Die vier Evangelian in altnordhumbrischer Sprache, 1857). It has also a history scarcely less romantic than the body of Cuthbert. When in the ninth century the monks fled before the Danes with the latter treasure, they took with them this manuscript, but on one occasion lost it in the Irish Channel. After three days it was found on the seashore at Whithern, unhurt save for some stains of brine. Henceforth in the inventories of Durham and Lindisfarne it was known as "Liber S. Cuthberti qui demersus est in mare" (the book of St. Cuthbert that fell into the sea). Its text was edited by Stevenson and Warning (London, 1854-65) and since then by Kemble and Hardwick, and by Skeat (see LINDISFARNE). The second early Gospel text connected with his name is the seventh-century Gospel of St. John (now in possession of the Jesuit College at Stonyhurst, England) found in 1105 in the grave of St. Cuthbert. Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews Pope Francis Launches Year of the Family "a sign and image of Trinitarian love and the covenant between Christ and the Church" FULL TEXT + Video



Pope Francis launched the "Amoris Laetitia Family" year on March 19, 2021. This is 5 years after the publication of Pope Francis’ post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris laetita.  Related to this is the Tenth World Meeting of Families which, will take place in Rome on 26 June, 2022. Pope John Paul II also wanted the Church to celebrate this Year of the Family; the 1st World Meeting of Families (WMF) was held in Rome on 8 and 9 October 1994 and occurs every three years.

The Vatican offers a Free PDF resource for the Year of the Family: http://www.laityfamilylife.va/content/dam/laityfamilylife/amoris-laetitia/Brochure/Brochure%20A4_ENG_FlipBook.pdf

 FULL TEXT MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE ON-LINE CONFERENCE "OUR DAILY LOVE" FOR THE OPENING OF THE YEAR "FAMIGLIA AMORIS LAETITIA "

 Dear brothers and sisters! 

I greet all of you who are taking part in the study conference on the theme "Our daily love".  My thoughts go in particular to Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, to Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, and to Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, Grand Chancellor of the Giovanni Theological Institute. Paul II for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family.

Five years ago, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia on the beauty and joy of conjugal and family love was promulgated On this occasion I invited you to experience a year of rereading the Document and reflecting on the theme, until the celebration of the 10th World Day of Families which, God willing, will take place in Rome on June 26, 2022. I am grateful for the initiatives that you have undertaken for this purpose and for the contribution that each of you offers in your field of work.

In this five-year period, Amoris laetitia has traced the beginning of a journey trying to encourage a new pastoral approach towards the reality of the family. The main intention of the Document is to communicate, in a profoundly changed time and culture, that today a new look on the family on the part of the Church is necessary: ​​it is not enough to reaffirm the value and importance of doctrine, if we do not become guardians of the beauty of the family and if we do not take care of its frailties and wounds with compassion.

These two aspects are the heart of every family ministry: the frankness of the evangelical announcement and the tenderness of accompaniment.

On the one hand, in fact, we announce to couples, spouses and families a Word that helps them to grasp the authentic meaning of their union and their love, a sign and image of Trinitarian love and the covenant between Christ and the Church. It is the ever new Word of the Gospel from which every doctrine, including that on the family, can take shape. And it is a demanding Word, which wants to free human relationships from the slavery that often disfigure their face and make them unstable: the dictatorship of emotions, the exaltation of the provisional that discourages commitments for a lifetime, the predominance of individualism, fear of the future. Faced with these difficulties, the church reaffirms to Christian spouses the value of marriage as God's plan, as the fruit of his Grace and as a call to be lived with totality, fidelity and gratuitousness.

On the other hand, this announcement cannot and must never be given from above and from without. The Church is incarnated in historical reality as her Master was, and even when she proclaims the Gospel of the family she does so by immersing herself in real life, knowing closely the daily labors of spouses and parents, their problems, their sufferings, all those small and large situations that weigh down and sometimes hinder their path. This is the concrete context in which daily love is lived. You have entitled your Conference this way: "Our daily love". It is a meaningful choice. It is about the love generated by the simplicity and silent work of a couple's life, by that daily and sometimes tiring commitment carried out by the spouses, by mothers, by fathers, by children. A Gospel that proposes itself as a doctrine descended from above and does not enter the "flesh" of this everyday life, would risk remaining a beautiful theory and, at times, of being experienced as a moral obligation. We are called to accompany, to listen, to bless the journey of families; not only to trace the direction, but to make the journey with them; to enter homes with discretion and with love, to say to spouses: the Church is with you, the Lord is close to you, we want to help you keep the gift you have received. 

Proclaiming the Gospel by accompanying people and placing themselves at the service of their happiness: in this way, we can help families to walk in a way that responds to their vocation and mission, aware of the beauty of bonds and their foundation in the love of God the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

When the family lives in the sign of this divine Communion, which I wanted to make explicit in its also existential aspects in Amoris laetitia , then it becomes a living word of the God of Love, spoken to the world and for the world. In fact, the grammar of family relationships - that is, of conjugal, maternity, paternity, filiality and fraternity - is the way through which the language of love is transmitted, which gives meaning to life and human quality to every relationship. It is a language made up not only of words, but also of ways of being, of how we speak, of the looks, gestures, times and spaces of our relationship with others. Spouses know this well, parents and children learn it every day at this school of love which is the family. And in this context, the transmission of the faith between generations also takes place: it passes precisely through the language of good and healthy relationships that are lived in the family every day,

In this time of pandemic, among so many psychological, as well as economic and health discomforts, all this has become evident: family ties have been and still are severely tested, but at the same time they remain the strongest point of reference, support stronger, the irreplaceable garrison for the seal of the entire human and social community.

Let us therefore support the family! Let's defend it from what compromises its beauty. Let us approach this mystery of love with amazement, with discretion and tenderness. And let us commit ourselves to safeguarding his precious and delicate bonds: children, parents, grandparents… These bonds are needed to live and to live well, to make humanity more fraternal.

Therefore, the year dedicated to the family, which begins today, will be a propitious time to carry on the reflection on Amoris laetitia . And for this I thank you from my heart, knowing that the John Paul II Institute can contribute in many ways, in dialogue with other academic and pastoral institutions, to the development of human, spiritual and pastoral attention in support of the family. To the Holy Family of Nazareth I entrust you and your work; and I ask you to do the same for me and my ministry.

Rome, San Giovanni in Laterano, 19 March 2021
Solemnity of St. Joseph, beginning of the Year of the Amoris Laetitia Family

Francis

Official Prayer to St Joseph for the Year of Saint Joseph - Ad te, beate Ioseph - by Pope Leo XIII - VIDEO

Official Prayer to St Joseph for the Year of Saint Joseph - Ite Ad Joseph - 

Pope Francis declared this the year of Saint Joseph. March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph.

This is the official prayer of the Year of St. Joseph—To you, O blessed Joseph (Ad te, beate Ioseph - see below) which was composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam Pluries. The Holy Father asked that it be added to the end of the Rosary especially during October, the month of the Holy Rosary. This prayer is enriched with a partial indulgence (Source: USCCB).

Saint Joseph is the patron of the Universal Church, a happy death, families, unborn, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, craftsmen, engineers, and workers. He’s also the patron of the Sicily, Americas, Canada, China, Croatia, Mexico, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam.

(Watch the Video below to Listen to the Prayer)


To you, O blessed Joseph (Ad te, beate Ioseph)

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Pope Francis Brings 7 People Closer to Sainthood by Authorizing Heroic Virtues - Including 3 Nuns who Died of Ebola Virus



Pope Francis has authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate decrees of heroic virtues of seven people - an archbishop, three priests, and three professed religious sisters (who died of the Ebola virus while in Congo).
The Full Text statement on the decrees concerning the causes of saints:
On March 17, 2021, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Most Reverend Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the decrees concerning
 :

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mercury Maria Teresi, Archbishop of Monreale; born on 10 October 1742 in Montemaggiore Belsito (Italy) and died in Monreale (Italy) on 18 April 1805;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Cosma Muñoz Pérez, diocesan priest, Founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Patronage of Santa Maria; born in 1573 in Villar del Rio (Spain) and died in Córdoba (Spain) on December 3, 1636;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Salvatore Valera Parra, diocesan priest; born on February 27, 1816 in Huércal-Overa (Spain) and died there on March 15, 1889;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Leo Veuthey (in the century: Clovis), professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual; born on March 3, 1896 in Dorénaz (Switzerland) and died in Rome (Italy) on June 7, 1974;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Annelvira Ossoli (in the world: Celeste Maria), professed religious of the Congregation of the Poverelle Sisters - Istituto Palazzolo; born on 26 August 1936 in Orzivecchi (Italy) and died in Kikwit (Democratic Republic of Congo) on 23 May 1995;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Vitarosa Zorza (born Maria Rosa), professed religious of the Congregation of the Poverelle Sisters - Istituto Palazzolo; born on 9 October 1943 in Palosco (Italy) and died in Kikwit (Democratic Republic of Congo) on 28 May 1995;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Danielangela Sorti (born Anna Maria), a professed religious of the Congregation of the Poverelle Sisters - Istituto Palazzolo; born on June 15, 1947 in Bergamo (Italy) and died in Kikwit (Democratic Republic of Congo) on May 11, 1995.

Source: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2021/03/18/0164/00355.html

Powerful Prayers to SAINT JOSEPH with the NOVENA to St. Joseph - the Patron of Fathers, Family, Work, the Church and More to SHARE!



A NOVENA is a powerful prayer said over 9 days. St. Joseph's Feast day is March 19 and May 1; but this may be said any time of the year. 
Official Novena Prayer:
Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I come to you as an example for holiness, for you are especially close with God. Therefore, I humbly commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.
 
 Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, pray for me to have a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:
(Mention your request)
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
St. Joseph Most Just, Pray for us!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the Novena.


This novena can be practiced at any time of year. Say this novena nine days in a row.
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OTHER PRAYERS TO ST. JOSEPH

Prayer to St. Joseph, The Worker

O Glorious, St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, after your example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen. --Pope St. Pius X
  St. Joseph, today we honor you as Patron of Workers. We pray for the unemployed, underemployed, those who are working under stress and all those who labor daily. May you be our example of honorable work for God. St. Joseph and Brother Andre, hear our petitions (name them).


The next prayer (To You, O Blessed Joseph) and the Litany of St. Joseph carries a partial indulgence...


To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holily, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen. 

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. 
Holy Mary, pray for us.
 
 St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster Father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph, most just,
Joseph, most chaste,
Joseph, most prudent,
Joseph, most valiant,
Joseph, most obedient,
Joseph, most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household, and prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.

O God, who in thy ineffable Providence did vouchsafe to choose St. Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant we beseech You, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

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Pope Francis' Message sets St. Joseph as an Example for World Day of Vocations "May Saint Joseph, protector of vocations, accompany you with his fatherly heart!" FULL TEXT


MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

FOR THE 2021 WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS

25 April 2021

 Saint Joseph: The Dream of Vocation

 Dear brothers and sisters,

8 December last, the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, marked the beginning of a special year devoted to him (cf. Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 8 December 2020). For my part, I wrote the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde, whose aim was “to increase our love for this great saint”. Saint Joseph is an extraordinary figure, yet at the same time one “so close to our own human experience”. He did not do astonishing things, he had no unique charisms, nor did he appear special in the eyes of those who met him. He was not famous or even noteworthy: the Gospels do not report even a single word of his. Still, through his ordinary life, he accomplished something extraordinary in the eyes of God.

God looks on the heart (cf. 1 Sam 16:7), and in Saint Joseph he recognized the heart of a father, able to give and generate life in the midst of daily routines. Vocations have this same goal: to beget and renew lives every day. The Lord desires to shape the hearts of fathers and mothers: hearts that are open, capable of great initiatives, generous in self-giving, compassionate in comforting anxieties and steadfast in strengthening hopes. The priesthood and the consecrated life greatly need these qualities nowadays, in times marked by fragility but also by the sufferings due to the pandemic, which has spawned uncertainties and fears about the future and the very meaning of life. Saint Joseph comes to meet us in his gentle way, as one of “the saints next door”. At the same time, his strong witness can guide us on the journey.

Saint Joseph suggests to us three key words for each individual’s vocation. The first is dream. Everyone dreams of finding fulfilment in life. We rightly nurture great hopes, lofty aspirations that ephemeral goals – like success, money and entertainment – cannot satisfy. If we were to ask people to express in one word their life’s dream, it would not be difficult to imagine the answer: “to be loved”. It is love that gives meaning to life, because it reveals life’s mystery. Indeed, we only have life if we give it; we truly possess it only if we generously give it away. Saint Joseph has much to tell us in this regard, because, through the dreams that God inspired in him, he made of his life a gift.

The Gospels tell us of four dreams (cf. Mt 1:20; 2:13.19.22). They were calls from God, but they were not easy to accept. After each dream, Joseph had to change his plans and take a risk, sacrificing his own plans in order to follow the mysterious designs of God, whom he trusted completely. We may ask ourselves, “Why put so much trust in a dream in the night?” Although a dream was considered very important in ancient times, it was still a small thing in the face of the concrete reality of life. Yet Saint Joseph let himself be guided by his dreams without hesitation. Why? Because his heart was directed to God; it was already inclined towards him. A small indication was enough for his watchful “inner ear” to recognize God’s voice. This applies also to our calling: God does not like to reveal himself in a spectacular way, pressuring our freedom. He conveys his plans to us with gentleness. He does not overwhelm us with dazzling visions but quietly speaks in the depths of our heart, drawing near to us and speaking to us through our thoughts and feelings. In this way, as he did with Saint Joseph, he sets before us profound and unexpected horizons.

Indeed, Joseph’s dreams led him into experiences he would never have imagined. The first of these upended his betrothal, but made him the father of the Messiah; the second caused him to flee to Egypt, but saved the life of his family. After the third, which foretold his return to his native land, a fourth dream made him change plans once again, bringing him to Nazareth, the place where Jesus would begin his preaching of the Kingdom of God. Amid all these upheavals, he found the courage to follow God’s will. So too in a vocation: God’s call always urges us to take a first step, to give ourselves, to press forward. There can be no faith without risk. Only by abandoning ourselves confidently to grace, setting aside our own programmes and comforts, can we truly say “yes” to God. And every “yes” bears fruit because it becomes part of a larger design, of which we glimpse only details, but which the divine Artist knows and carries out, making of every life a masterpiece. In this regard, Saint Joseph is an outstanding example of acceptance of God’s plans. Yet his was an active acceptance: never reluctant or resigned. Joseph was “certainly not passively resigned, but courageously and firmly proactive” (Patris Corde, 4). May he help everyone, especially young people who are discerning, to make God’s dreams for them come true. May he inspire in them the courage to say “yes” to the Lord who always surprises and never disappoints.

A second word marks the journey of Saint Joseph and that of vocation: service. The Gospels show how Joseph lived entirely for others and never for himself. The holy people of God invoke him as the most chaste spouse, based on his ability to love unreservedly. By freeing love from all possessiveness, he became open to an even more fruitful service. His loving care has spanned generations; his attentive guardianship has made him patron of the Church. As one who knew how to embody the meaning of self-giving in life, Joseph is also the patron of a happy death. His service and sacrifices were only possible, however, because they were sustained by a greater love: “Every true vocation is born of the gift of oneself, which is the fruit of mature sacrifice. The priesthood and consecrated life likewise require this kind of maturity. Whatever our vocation, whether to marriage, celibacy or virginity, our gift of self will not come to fulfilment if it stops at sacrifice; were that the case, instead of becoming a sign of the beauty and joy of love, the gift of self would risk being an expression of unhappiness, sadness and frustration” (ibid., 7).

For Saint Joseph, service – as a concrete expression of the gift of self – did not remain simply a high ideal, but became a rule for daily life. He strove to find and prepare a place where Jesus could be born; he did his utmost to protect him from Herod’s wrath by arranging a hasty journey into Egypt; he immediately returned to Jerusalem when Jesus was lost; he supported his family by his work, even in a foreign land. In short, he adapted to different circumstances with the attitude of those who do not grow discouraged when life does not turn out as they wished; he showed the willingness typical of those who live to serve. In this way, Joseph welcomed life’s frequent and often unexpected journeys: from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, then to Egypt and again to Nazareth, and every year to Jerusalem. Each time he was willing to face new circumstances without complaining, ever ready to give a hand to help resolve situations. We could say that this was the outstretched hand of our heavenly Father reaching out to his Son on earth. Joseph cannot fail to be a model for all vocations, called to be the ever-active hands of the Father, outstretched to his children.

I like to think, then, of Saint Joseph, the protector of Jesus and of the Church, as the protector of vocations. In fact, from his willingness to serve comes his concern to protect. The Gospel tells us that “Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night” (Mt 2:14), thus revealing his prompt concern for the good of his family. He wasted no time fretting over things he could not control, in order to give full attention to those entrusted to his care. Such thoughtful concern is the sign of a true vocation, the testimony of a life touched by the love of God. What a beautiful example of Christian life we give when we refuse to pursue our ambitions or indulge in our illusions, but instead care for what the Lord has entrusted to us through the Church! God then pours out his Spirit and creativity upon us; he works wonders in us, as he did in Joseph.

Together with God’s call, which makes our greatest dreams come true, and our response, which is made up of generous service and attentive care, there is a third characteristic of Saint Joseph’s daily life and our Christian vocation, namely fidelity. Joseph is the “righteous man” (Mt 1:19) who daily perseveres in quietly serving God and his plans. At a particularly difficult moment in his life, he thoughtfully considered what to do (cf. v. 20). He did not let himself be hastily pressured. He did not yield to the temptation to act rashly, simply following his instincts or living for the moment. Instead, he pondered things patiently. He knew that success in life is built on constant fidelity to important decisions. This was reflected in his perseverance in plying the trade of a humble carpenter (cf. Mt 13:55), a quiet perseverance that made no news in his own time, yet has inspired the daily lives of countless fathers, labourers and Christians ever since. For a vocation – like life itself – matures only through daily fidelity.

How is such fidelity nurtured? In the light of God’s own faithfulness. The first words that Saint Joseph heard in a dream were an invitation not to be afraid, because God remains ever faithful to his promises: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid” (Mt 1:20). Do not be afraid: these words the Lord also addresses to you, dear sister, and to you, dear brother, whenever you feel that, even amid uncertainty and hesitation, you can no longer delay your desire to give your life to him. He repeats these words when, perhaps amid trials and misunderstandings, you seek to follow his will every day, wherever you find yourself. They are words you will hear anew, at every step of your vocation, as you return to your first love. They are a refrain accompanying all those who – like Saint Joseph – say yes to God with their lives, through their fidelity each day.

This fidelity is the secret of joy. A hymn in the liturgy speaks of the “transparent joy” present in the home of Nazareth. It the joy of simplicity, the joy experienced daily by those who care for what truly matters: faithful closeness to God and to our neighbour. How good it would be if the same atmosphere, simple and radiant, sober and hopeful, were to pervade our seminaries, religious houses and presbyteries! I pray that you will experience this same joy, dear brothers and sisters who have generously made God the dream of your lives, serving him in your brothers and sisters through a fidelity that is a powerful testimony in an age of ephemeral choices and emotions that bring no lasting joy. May Saint Joseph, protector of vocations, accompany you with his fatherly heart!

Rome, from Saint John Lateran, 19 March 2021, Feast of Saint Joseph

Francis

Consecrate Your Life to St. Joseph - Powerful Prayer of Protection to the Foster-Father of Jesus, in the Year of St. Joseph


In this special year of St. Joseph, as proclaimed by Pope Francis, prayers to this saint carry special indulgences. St. Joseph was the Foster-Father of Jesus and guardian of the Holy Family. He is patron of fathers, families, the unemployed, work and the Universal Church. His powerful protection can guide you in life. This short and easy prayer of consecration can be said everyday! (Watch the video to hear the prayer) March 19th is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph; his great feast day celebrated around the world.

Act of Consecration to St. Joseph by (St. Bernardine of Siena)
Oh my beloved St. Joseph, adopt me as thy child. Take charge of my salvation; watch over me day and night; preserve me from the occasions of sin; obtain for me purity of body.  Through thy intercession with Jesus, grant me a spirit of sacrifice, humility, self-denial, burning love for Jeus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet and tender love for Mary, my mother. St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying, and obtain for me a favorable judgement from Jesus, my merciful Savior.
Amen.
Dear St. Joseph,

On this day, before God and your Immaculate Spouse, Mary, I ___________________ choose you as my spiritual father forever. I formally entrust myself to your fatherly care. I love you, and I trust in your prayers for my life. As your spiritual child, I give you full permission (and in fact, I'm begging you) to please act in my life, especially by...

Praying for me constantly in a special way,
Bringing me even deeper into the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Providing for me and all my loved ones,
Guarding and protecting me from bodily and spiritual evil,
Guiding me to always do God's most perfect will,
Helping me to suffer with love and without complaint,
Giving me purity of body and of soul,
Forming me into a person of peace and joy,
Preparing me for a beautiful and happy death.

From this day forward, St. Joseph, you are my spiritual father, and I am your child. I trust you and love you, and I look forward to meeting you someday in heaven. I ask all of this in Jesus' name and for the glory of God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.