With everything else that has been going on, it may come as news that the Church is keeping 2021 as a Year of St Joseph! And yet there may be a kind of providence (a holy 'coincidence') in putting this year under the protection of Our Lord's earthly father, who is celebrated in the church as a man of strength, silence and courage; as protector and guardian of his son, and of all who turn to him in prayer.
Beginning today, many parishes and religious communities are keeping a Novena of S. Joseph, a nine-day period of prayer which will end on 18 March, the day before St Joseph's feast day on 19 March. Before beginning the novena you might like to 'dedicate' it to one or more special intentions (needs, concerns, hopes, petitions) of your own. Zarina and I will be keeping the novena at home, using the novena prayer each day before our evening meal. Some of you may like to do the same at some point each day, so here is the text:
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil.
Please call to mind your special intentions…
St. Joseph, Pray for us.
Add: Our Father…, Hail Mary…,
Glory be to the Father…, Amen.
There is a fuller form of the novena (with readings, etc) available for download: https://millhillmissionaries.com/novena/
St Joseph's Day falls on a Friday next week, so there is no public Mass. We will anticipate the feast with a Votive Mass of S. Joseph on Thursday, 18 March, at the usual time of 09h30. The Mass will be offered for all our novena intentions.
Joseph, just man of God,
Clear mirror of the beatitudes –
Poor in spirit, meek, gentle and merciful,
Man of peace, no stranger to sorrow,
Persecuted for Jesus’ name –
Aid me by your example and your prayers
To shape my life after so perfect a pattern.