A Pastoral Letter By The Most Reverend John O. Barres

One hundred and fifty years ago, Pope Blessed Pius IX solemnly declared St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the “foster” father of Our Savior, to be the Patron of the Catholic Church.1 At the same time, the Pope raised the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19 to that of a Solemnity.2 Why did the Holy Father choose precisely that moment in the Church’s history to make such a declaration? And why, a century and a half later, should this title given to St. Joseph be important for all of us?

This anniversary grants us the opportunity to look at the life of this great saint with new eyes and from a fresh perspective. Although saints live in a particular time and place, their holiness and example transcend those limits, and make them truly examples for every age. In a very particular way, this carpenter from First Century Galilee has much to teach us about how to live
our Catholic Faith in the troubled 21st Century.

To read the full letter, click here.