DPPL 220: The Universal Patron, and More

STA altar at night smallThe importance of Joseph is recognized in the institution, in the Missal as well as in much documentation. Remember the recent authorization to mention him in the second, third, and fourth Eucharistic Prayers. Have you marked your third edition Missals for him?

220. Popular piety has grasped the significance, importance and universality of the patronage of St. Joseph “to whose care God entrusted the beginning of our redemption”, (Roman Missal, Collect, Solemnity of St Joseph) “and his most valuable treasures” (Sacred Congregation for Rites, Decree Quemadmodum Deus, in Pii IX Pontificis Maximi Acta, Pars Prima, vol. 5, Akademische Druck – u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz 1971, p. 282; cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris custos, 1, in AAS 82 (1990) 6).

A list of the major patronages of the husband of Mary:

The following have been entrusted to the patronage of St. Joseph:

  • the entire Church was placed under the patronage and protection of this holy patriarch (The declaration of St. Joseph as patron of the universal Church took place on 8 December 1870 with the Decree Quemadmodum Deus to which reference has already been made.) by the Blessed Pius IX;
  • those who are consecrated to God by celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Mt 19, 12): “in St Joseph they have […] a type and a protector of chaste integrity”(Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Quamquam pluries (15 August 1889) in Leonis XIII Pontificis Maximi Acta, IX, Typographia Vaticana, Romae 1890, p. 180);
  • workers and craftsmen, for whom the carpenter of Nazareth is a singular model(Cf. Pius XII, Allocutio ad adscriptos Societatibus Christianis Operariorum Italicorum (A:C:L:I:) (1 May 1955), in AAS 47 (1955) 402-407, declaring the institution of the feast of St. Joseph the Worker for the 1 May (cf. Sacred Congregation for Rites, Decree [24 April 1956] in AAS 48 [1956] 237); John Paul II Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos, 22-24, in AAS 82 (1990) 26-28); t
  • he dying, since pious tradition holds that he was assisted by Mary and Jesus in his last agony(Cf. St. Bernardine of Siena, De Sancto Joseph sponso beatae Virginis , art. II, cap. III, in S. Bernardini Opera omnia, t. VII, Typis Collegii Sancti Bonaventurae, Ad Claras Aquas 1959, p. 28).

The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy is online at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to DPPL 220: The Universal Patron, and More

  1. Liam says:

    It’s interesting how this omits the relative neglect of St Joseph in the Western tradition until the modern era. (Btw, the designation of St Joseph as a “just man” has been traditionally interpreted by some theologians in the Western tradition to mean he was not guilty of actual, personal sin; St John the Baptist likewise.) He didn’t even get a commemoration in the Roman calendar until the late 15th century, and it didn’t become a day of precept until the 17th century, and it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the modern Roman cult came fully into being

    Also to be noted is the different understanding of St Joseph in the Western tradition (St Jerome being the main source) vs the Byzantine tradition (St Epiphanius being the main source). In the West, St Joseph is a bachelor with no family, and an indeterminate age. In the East, he is a older widower with a family from his first marriage. He is traditionally depicted in Eastern ikons of the Nativity as a troubled old man in a corner….

    • Todd says:

      Thanks for those observations. They probably tell us a bit more of the people and the Church than they do about the man himself. If we were in Joseph’s shoes, what would we be thinking … ?

      It seems to me that the father figures in Jesus’ parables may be closest to the real Joseph: generous, patient, looking out for his children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s