The Year of Saint Joseph

Pope Francis has proclaimed that the Catholic Church will celebrate a Year of Saint Joseph from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. The announcement was made in his apostolic letter Patris Corde. This proclamation coincides with the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.

To participate in a Basilica parish consecration to Saint Joseph, which begins on September 30, 2021 and concludes with the actual consecration to Saint Joseph on November 1, please click here to learn more:

Year of Saint Joseph Podcast Series

During the Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica of Saint Mary will produce a monthly podcast on Saint Joseph. It will be released on the 19th of each month. Listen to them here on our website, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Podcast 1 (January) – Father Edward Hathaway on the Year of Saint Joseph and Patris Corde
Father Edward Hathaway, Rector of the Basilica of Saint Mary, launches our Year of Saint Joseph Podcast Series. During this edition, he explains the significance of the Year of Saint Joseph and reflects on Pope Francis’ document on Saint Joseph, Patris Corde.

Podcast 2 (February) – Father Noah Morey on Saint Joseph as the Foster Father of the Son of God
Father Noah Morey, Chaplain at Bishop Ireton High School and a priest in residence at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s role as the Foster Father of the Son of God.

Podcast 3 (March) – Father David Dufresne on Saint Joseph as the Terror of Demons
Father David Dufresne, a Parochial Vicar at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s role as the Terror of Demons.

Podcast 4 (April) – Father Nicholas Blank on on Saint Joseph as the Light of Patriarchs
Father Nicholas Blank, a Parochial Vicar at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s role as the Light of Patriarchs.

Podcast 5 (May) – Father Noah Morey on the Life and Virtues of Saint Joseph
Father Noah Morey, Chaplain at Bishop Ireton High School and a priest in residence at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s life and virtues.

Podcast 6 (June) – Seminarian Jordan Evans on Saint Joseph as a Model of Chastity
Diocese of Arlington Seminarian Jordan Evans reflects on Saint Joseph as a model of chastity.

Podcast 7 (July) Seminarian Alex Solsma reflects on St. John XXIII’s Devotion to Saint Joseph Diocese of Arlington Seminarian Alex Solsma shares an inspiring reflection on Saint John XXIII’s devotion to Saint Joseph.

Podcast 8 (August) The Power of Silence in the Life of St. Joseph — and in Our Lives
Carlos Briceño, the Basilica of Saint Mary’s Director of Communications and Evangelization, reflects on the power of silence in St. Joseph’s life and how silence can help us grow closer to God.

Podcast 9 (September): The Importance of Consecrating Oneself to Saint Joseph
Catholic author Mike Aquilina shares about why a consecration to Saint Joseph is so important.

Podcast 10 (October): Saint Joseph as the “Mirror of Patience”
Father Joseph Townsend shares about one of Saint Joseph’s titles: “Mirror of Patience”

Prayer for the Year of Saint Joseph

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

-Pope Francis

Prayer cards with this prayer are available in the Basilica of Saint Mary. 

Votive Mass of Saint Joseph - Wednesdays

When permitted throughout the year, our priests will offer the Votive Mass of Saint Joseph on Wednesdays.

There is a long tradition in the Church of offering these Masses. Votive Masses of Saint Joseph began to appear in various missals as early as the thirteenth century. In the nineteenth century, the Votive Mass of Saint Joseph was assigned to Wednesdays.

Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Saint Joseph

A special indulgence is available during the Year of Saint Joseph. Plenary indulgences remit all temporal punishment due to sin. The plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions (Sacramental Confession, reception of the Eucharist and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father) to the faithful who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in any of these Year of Saint Joseph practices:

  • Participate in a spiritual retreat for at least one day that includes a meditation on Saint Joseph.
  • Pray for Saint Joseph’s intercession for the unemployed that they might find dignifying work.
  • Recite the Litany of Saint Joseph for persecuted Christians.
  • Entrust one’s daily work and activity to the protection of Saint Joseph the Worker.
  • Follow Saint Joseph’s example in performing a corporal work of mercy. These include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, visiting the sick and burying the dead.
  • Perform one of the spiritual works of mercy – comforting the sorrowful, counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead.
  • Pray the Rosary together with one’s family in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”
  • Engaged couples can also receive the indulgence from praying the Rosary together.
  • Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Our Father prayer because Saint Joseph “invites us to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.”
  • Pray an approved prayer for the intercession of Saint Joseph or perform an act of piety in honor of Saint Joseph, especially on one of these days:
    • March 19 (Solemnity of Saint Joseph)
    • May 1 (Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker)
    • December 27 (Holy Family Sunday)
    • The 19th day of every month
    • Every Wednesday (a day dedicated to the memory of Saint Joseph according to the Latin tradition)

Go to Joseph: Podcasts of a Retreat with Fr. Javier del Castillo

“Go to Joseph”: A Spiritual Retreat invites us to contemplate the life of St. Joseph and to understand more deeply:

  • Why is the life of St. Joseph so important?
  • Why did God choose St. Joseph to be his foster father on earth? Who was he?
  • What does it mean that St. Joseph was a just man?
  • What does St. Joseph’s life teach us about our own identities: where we come from and why God has also chosen us?

“Go to Joseph”: A Spiritual Retreat is a collection of five meditations preached by Rev. Javier del Castillo, priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei and Vice President of the St. Josemaria Institute. You can access this retreat here.

Begin a Consecration to Saint Joseph

During this year of Saint Joseph, prayerfully consider a consecration to Saint Joseph. A popular method is to use Father Donald Calloway’s book, Consecration to St. Joseph: Wonders of Our Spiritual Father. To complete the Consecration on May 1, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, begin on March 30.

What does it mean to be consecrated to Saint Joseph? It is to entrust yourself entirely to his paternal care so that he can help you acquire his virtues and become holy. To make a total consecration, you make a formal act of filial entrustment to him and strive to emulate his example. Saint Joseph, in return, will give those consecrated to him his guidance and protection.

Parish Mission - March 15-18, 2021

In honor of the Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica of Saint Mary will host a parish mission on March 15 to 18 with Father Wade Menezes. The theme of his talks will be “Guardian of the Redeemer, Protect and Lead Us!” He will celebrate the 12:10 pm Mass on those days. His daily talks will be at 12:45 pm and 7:00 pm. The same content will be covered in each day’s reflections, so just attend one talk each day. We will post more details on this event in the coming weeks.

Learn more about the mission and view the full schedule here. 

Our Loved Ones Remembered: A Mass for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph

A Mass for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph will be offered in the Basilica on Friday, March 19, at 4:00 pm for our loved ones who have passed away since March 17, 2020. Father David Dufresne will be the celebrant.

Names of our faithful departed will be read aloud during the Prayers of the Faithful. If you would like to have your loved one remembered during this special Mass, please send the name of the departed and their relationship to you, along with your name, (for instance: Mary Jones, spouse/mother/sister/aunt/cousin of John Jones) to [email protected] by Wednesday, March 17. You are also welcome to call the parish office at 703-836-4100 to submit the above information.

This Mass will also be live streamed here on our parish website.

The Seven Sundays of Saint Joseph - January 31 to March 14, 2021

The Seven Sundays Devotion to Saint Joseph: A little-known devotion that honors Joseph’s joys and sorrows 

Philip Kosloski in Aleteia

St. Joseph, while he never spoke a word in scripture, is one of the most beloved saints of Christianity. His silent example of obedient faithfulness is one that spoke much louder than any words.

Over the centuries there grew many different devotions to St. Joseph, expressing a deep filial love for the foster-father of Jesus. Among them was the powerful Seven Sundays devotion.

According to Salt and Light Media, “The story goes that two Franciscan monks who were shipwrecked at sea clung to a plank for two days, and were saved by a man of venerable appearance who miraculously brought them to shore. When they asked who he was, he replied, ‘I am Joseph, and I desire you to honor my seven sorrows and seven joys.”

Whatever the origins may be, a devotion was developed where the seven sorrows and seven joys of Joseph became the focus of meditation on the seven Sundays preceding his feast on March 19. The first Sunday of these meditations is typically either the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February.

Below are the following joys and sorrows of St. Joseph, along with their respective passages in scripture. One approach to these Sundays is to read each passage and consider how Joseph would have felt in the situation. This is a form of lectio divina or “divine reading,” where you are able to put yourself into the scene and see Joseph’s expressions during each episode.

When praying the Seven Sundays devotion, it is customary to pray for a specific intention, asking St. Joseph’s powerful intercession for your needs.

Click here for the prayers and readings for the Seven Sundays

Click here for the Seven Sundays Devotion guide from the Saint Josemaria Institute. 

1st Sunday (January 31, 2021)
Sorrow (Matthew 1:19) The Doubt of St. Joseph
Joy (Matthew 1:20) The Message of the Angel

2nd Sunday (February 7, 2021)
Sorrow (Luke 2:7) The Poverty of Jesus’ Birth
Joy (Luke 2:10-11) The Birth of the Savior

3rd Sunday (February 14, 2021)
Sorrow (Luke 2:21) The Circumcision
Joy (Matthew 1:25) The Holy Name of Jesus

4th Sunday (February 21, 2021)
Sorrow (Luke 2:34) The Prophecy of Simeon
Joy (Luke 2:38) The Effects of the Redemption

5th Sunday (February 28, 2021)
Sorrow (Matthew 2:14) The Flight into Egypt
Joy (Isaiah 19:1) The Overthrow of the Idols of Egypt

6th Sunday (March 7, 2021)
Sorrow (Matthew 2:22) The Return from Egypt
Joy (Luke 2:39) Life with Jesus and Mary at Nazareth

7th Sunday (March 14, 2021)
Sorrow (Luke 2:45) The Loss of the Child Jesus
Joy (Luke 2:46) The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

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