On the 8th of December 2020, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and with the current pandemic very much in mind, Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of St. Joseph, to mark the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Pope Pius IX of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church.
In his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), inaugurating the Year, Pope Francis acknowledges that during this pandemic we have experienced how “our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked… men and women working to provide essential services and public safety…
How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all.”
He adds, “Each of us can discover in Joseph — the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence — an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation (my italics). A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”