Archbishop's Message​

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Archbishop's Message​

Year of St. Joseph

Pope Francis has released an Apostolic Letter on December 8, 2020, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on St. Joseph with the title Patris Corde which means, ‘with a Father’s Heart’. The Apostolic letter comes on the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the patron of the universal Church by Pope Pius IX.

During the last 200 years   successive popes have been fostering devotion to St. Joseph and writing extensively on him delving deeper into the few mentions we have of him in the Gospels. Their writings are the external expression of their own deep appreciation for the saint. Pope Sextus V in the 15th century fixed 19 March as the feast of St. Joseph. His name was inserted into the Roman Canon of the Eucharistic celebration in 1962 and into   canons II, III and IV in 2013. Pope Pius XII established the Feast of St. Joseph the worker while Pope John Paul II prayed to St. Joseph intensely all through the 26 years of his pontificate. He said that in St. Joseph we find ‘the grace of living together the charism of virginity and the gift of matrimony.’   Pope Francis has spoken publically of his special devotion to St. Joseph after being elected Pope especially when he is faced with serious concerns. He writes a note and places it under the statue of sleeping St. Joseph the Pope has on his study table. By next morning the pope receives clarifications on how to proceed.

Still it is interesting to note that till date we have no one called Pope Joseph though several of the popes had Joseph as their baptismal names. It looks as though he does not want to be in the lime light even in the person of a pope. He likes to be anonymous as we see him in the Gospels.

The Apostolic Letter speaks of the courage of St. Joseph to accept the role of the legal father of Jesus, firs by accepting Mary as his wife and then protecting the mother and child from every danger and then providing for them as long as God allowed him to do. The Pope then goes on to describe, in seven paragraphs, St. Joseph as a father who is beloved, tender, loving, obedient, accepting, creative and courageous, working and in the shadow,. It is preceded by an introduction and ends with a prayer to St. Joseph.

The Apostolic Letter is written in simple language and on reading it one is drawn to St. Joseph as to an affectionate father. The year of St. Joseph began on 8th December, 2020 and will conclude on the same date in 2021. May St. Joseph be a father to each one of us and a protector and guardian of the archdiocese!

Psalm 27:12

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?.