The Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from 8th December 2020, to 8th December 2021. Pope Francis has called the Church to become more aware of the important role of St Joseph in our Christian faith and to focus our attention on him as the patron of the universal Church.

In his Apostolic Letter Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a beloved, tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.

Patris corde marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. “Thanks to his role in salvation history, Saint Joseph has always been venerated as a father by the Christian people. This is shown by the countless churches dedicated to him worldwide, the numerous religious Institutes, Confraternities and ecclesial groups inspired by his spirituality and bearing his name, and the many traditional expressions of piety in his honour. Innumerable holy men and women were passionately devoted to him. Among them was Teresa of Avila, who chose him as her advocate and intercessor, had frequent recourse to him and received whatever graces she asked of him. Encouraged by her own experience, Teresa persuaded others to cultivate devotion to Joseph.” [1]

Our own Australian Saint, Mary of the Cross MacKillop, together with Fr Julian Tenison Woods, founded the Order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and chose St Joseph to be patron of the Congregation. Mary’s extensive writings and letters to her Sisters encouraged them to “apply to St Joseph in confidence, in every difficulty and you will not be disappointed.” (Mary MacKillop 1906)

We too, can take great heart in St Joseph’s example and emulate his qualities of tenderness, faith, trust and courage described for us the Gospels.  Mary MacKillop invites us “to ask Joseph to obtain for us a generous devoted love for Jesus, a love that will make us like himself….a love that, … will make us delight in serving Him in His poor and His neglected little ones…. And his love of Christ cannot exist in our hearts without enabling us to live in perfect charity and love. (Mary MacKillop 1893)


[1] Pope Francis, Patris corde (With a Father’s Heart) #1, p.3.



Resources for the Year of St Joseph


Australian Catholic Bishops      

Sisters of St Joseph                   

Liturgy Brisbane Year of St Joseph


St. Joseph was the Spouse of Our Lady and adoptive father to Our Lord. Tradition teaches us that he was a carpenter by trade. He is known as the patron of the Catholic Church, as well as many causes including fathers, families and all workers. His feast days are: St. Joseph, Husband of Mary (March 19) and St. Joseph the Worker (May 1).

St Joseph, patron saint of


Church Documents on St Joseph

Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis

Apostolic Exhortation of Pope St John Paul II

Motu proprio of Pope Benedict XV

Encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII

Decree of Pope Pius IX

Visit to access all documents from the same page.


Special Days of Celebration in this Year of St Joseph


St Pope John XXIII’s Prayer for Fathers


Music – the first two listings are most suited to liturgical celebrations, and the last two may be used for prayer services and catechesis. 


Visit Parramatta Diocese’s The Well webpage for a short video on St Joseph

Robert Falzon, founder of the national menALIVE ministry, reflects on how St Joseph may have responded to his astonishing call to be the foster-father of Jesus and spouse of Mary. What does it mean for fathers and husbands in today’s world?



The Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina has monthly images with brief descriptions about history and meaning

Read short excerpts of what the saints and various popes have written about St Joseph


St Joseph's Day Prayer Service  - Prepared by the Catholic Identity and Religious Education Team, Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Sale (pdf)




Celebrating the Year of St Joseph -Full resource, Diocesan Pastoral Office (pdf)