December 8, 2020, marked the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph, the Guardian of Jesus, as Patron of the Catholic Church. On that day, Pope Francis declared the “Year of St. Joseph,” which concludes on December 8, 2021.
In his Apostolic Letter Patris Corde, the Holy Father describes St. Joseph as “a beloved father; a tender and loving father; an obedient father; an accepting father; and a creatively courageous father.” Thus the pope reconnects with the proclamation of Blessed Pope Pius IX, which declared St. Joseph as patron of the Church. Pope Francis talked about his devotion to the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and revealed that he has been reciting a daily prayer to St. Joseph for more than forty years. The publication of Patris Corde was accompanied by the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary which unites the Year of St. Joseph with the granting of special indulgences.
Much has already been written about St. Joseph. For a man who did not say a single word, at least, not in the canonical books of the New Testament, we have a rich store of exegetical, theological, spiritual and iconographic literature. According to the Bible, an angel visited the sleeping Joseph three times. On each visit, the angel gave Joseph particular instructions from God concerning what decision to make, what to do or not to do, where to go, etc.
In November of 2021, our confrere Friar Zdzisław KIJAS published a book entitled “Letters of St. Joseph” through Leggimi Publishers of Vignolo, Italy. The book does not speak strictly about Joseph. Rather it attempts to provide answers to questions that many people find distressing. Everyone seeks a teacher who can offer them solutions, who can enlighten and advise them. For many, that teacher is St. Joseph.
In this book, believers and non-believers alike write to St. Joseph about matters that are close to their hearts. St. Joseph, being a good husband, guardian and worker, writes letters back to them, with patience and wisdom. His letters often refer to his own personal experiences which he then uses to provide the readers with answers, answers the author believes will help them overcome their difficulties, strengthen their faith, and comfort them. Are they satisfactory answers? Let the reader be the judge.
Friar Zdzisław Józef KIJAS