On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis issued the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde which established these upcoming twelve months as the “Year of St. Joseph.” This had long been speculated by those who do that sort of thing, and they were finally proven correct. Like other “Year of’s…” the faithful among us are to delve more deeply into the lives of the saint or doctrine so honored and to become more spiritually enriched as a result.
I really enjoy these “Year of…” declarations. My wife and I still continue the practice we did when Pope Francis announced the Year of Mercy a while back; that of jointly praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I had dug more deeply into St. Faustina’s Diary throughout that Year and added several more books to my Divine Mercy bookshelf. For the previous “Year of Faith” I studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church and studied a few other books on Catholic Dogmas and Doctrines.
This Year of St. Joseph will be no different. I already had a collection of books on the Foster Father of Our Lord and Saviour, but hadn’t yet gotten to reading them. That will change. First up to be read will be The Life and Glories of St. Joseph by Edward Healy Thompson, M.A. From TAN Book’s description, “No words of St. Joseph are recorded In Scripture. In fact. little mention is made of him there. Yet. despite these seeming limitations. the Church nonetheless possesses an indescribably rich knowledge of St. Joseph and of his cultus. This book will astound most readers both with its scope and with its profundity. Based mainly on Scripture. but supported also by Tradition and the depositions of saints. it is a carefully reasoned analysis of the entirety of that great saint’s role in the history of Salvation and the life of the Church. Includes details about his spiritual life and noble lineage; how he was prefigured in the Old Testament; his relationship to Mary and Jesus; why he has been named by Pope Pius IX “The Patron of the Universal Church;” and so forth. Many beautiful insights.”
As with other “Year of…” declarations, we will have to opportunity to gain Plenary Indulgences. These are pious practices that we can perform that, if fulfilled correctly and with the proper attitude, can obtain for us the complete remission of our sins.
These pious acts “must be accompanied by sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the pope’s intentions; the usual conditions to obtain any plenary indulgence.”"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)