On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis issued a decree launching a special year dedicated to St. Joseph in honor of the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church, hailing him as a model of fatherhood and a key intercessor in modern times. This special year will run from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021.
The decree outlined several instances in which the faithful will be able to obtain a plenary indulgence in relation to the Year of St. Joseph, provided they meet the usual conditions of going to confession, receiving the Eucharist, and praying for the intentions of the pope.
A plenary indulgence will be available to the following:
- Those who meditate on the Our Father prayer for at least 30 minutes or take part in a spiritual retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph
- Those who perform a corporal or spiritual work of mercy
- Families or engaged couples who recite the rosary together
- Those who entrust their daily work to St. Joseph, and those who ask St. Joseph to intercede for the unemployed
- Those who recite a prayer to St. Joseph (the litanies of St. Joseph in Latin rite, or Akathistos to St. Joseph in the Byzantine rite, or any other prayer to St. Joseph) for the relief of Christians persecuted both inside and outside of the Church
- The faithful who recite “any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph,” with an encouragement to do so on the March 19 and May 1 feasts of St. Joseph, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Byzantine celebration of St. Joseph’s Sunday, and on the 19th of every month and on every Wednesday, which has been dedicated to St. Joseph in the Latin rite
- The elderly, sick, dying and those legitimately unable to leave the house, who recite an act of piety to St. Joseph under his title of Comfort of the Sick and Patron of a happy death, provided they offer their discomfort to God and fulfill the conditions for the indulgence “as soon as possible”
The local shrines for gaining this indulgence are designated by the Diocese of Birmingham. We will publish the list of those shrines as soon as it is released.
The Year of St. Joseph Prayer
The official prayer of the Year of St. Joseph, To you, O blessed Joseph (Ad te, beate Ioseph), was composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam Pluries. The Holy Father has asked that it be added to the end of the Rosary, especially during October, the month of the Holy Rosary. This prayer is enriched with a partial indulgence.
To you, O blessed Joseph (Ad te, beate Ioseph)
To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.
Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.
As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.