The month of March, in the tradition of the Catholic Church, is the month of St. Joseph, celebrated on the 19th. This year, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as patron of the universal Church, Pope Francis declared December 8, 2020 a “special year of St. Joseph” until December 8, 2021.

The Pope describes St. Joseph as: A beloved Father, Father in tenderness, Father in obedience, Father in welcome, Father with creative courage, Hard-working Father, Father in the shadows. We can guess the tender affection that Pope Francis professes to St. Joseph. How can we not, by the way, mention the affectionate place that Mother Mary of the Heart of Jesus also reserved for this Saint whom she often invoked, inviting her daughters to love him and put herself under her protection?

She also professed great devotion to St. Joseph. She recommended her own spiritual interests to him no less than those of her entire religious family, drawing on the example of Saint Teresa, who claims to have never invoked this great Saint without being answered. Following the example of the Holy Carmelite, she saw in the august Head of the Holy Family “a master in the practice of prayer,” a perfect model of inner life, inseparable from true devotion to the Sacred Heart. In addition, she entrusted him with the custody of the Institute’s temporal assets.[1]»

Let me leave the floor to Pope Francis by offering you an excerpt from the text from the beginning of his letter PATRIS CORDE where he and expresses the desire to share his own thoughts on the figure of St. Joseph. Through these words, the Holy Father puts before us a human reality that can only stimulate us to remain with our time of worship, our main mission in the name of the Church. I strongly encourage you to take the time to meditate on it and to share it fraternally around you:

“This desire has matured during these pandemic months during which we can experience, in the midst of a crisis that strikes us, that “our lives are woven and supported by ordinary people, often forgotten, who do not make the headlines and magazines nor appear in the great decisives of our history: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees , maintenance workers, home care providers, transporters, law enforcement, volunteers, priests, nuns and so many others who have understood that no one is running away on their own. […] How many people show patience every day and instill hope, making sure not to create panic but co-responsibility! How many fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, and teachers show our children, through simple and daily gestures, how to face and go through a crisis by rehabilitating habits, looking up and stimulating prayer! Let people pray, offer and intercede for the good of all.” We can all find in St. Joseph the man who goes unnoticed, the man of daily presence, discreet and hidden, an intercessor, support and a guide in times of difficulty. Saint Joseph reminds us that all those who are apparently hidden or in the “second line” play an unparalleled role in the history of salvation. To all of them, a word of gratitude and gratitude is addressed.»

May this beautiful month of March during which we will live this time of Lent, whose key word is that of CONVERSION, be for each of us the opportunity to grow in fraternity. With Pope Francis, let us stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters in humanity who are hard hit by the pandemic or other “viruses”, such as loneliness, racism, gender violence or any other type of abuse. May Saint Joseph, the protector of Jesus and Mary, keep us all on the path of brotherhood following Jesus, the One whom he knew how to love with “a heart of The Father.”

Sister Beny, scj

[1] G. KANTERS, The Founder of the Servant Sisters of the Heart of Jesus, Universal Edition (2nd edition), 1940, p. 40