Reading for the Year of St Joseph

Some suggestions for a deeper understanding of the Holy Patriarch.

1. Patris Corde, Pope Francis. Pope Francis has declared 2021 the Year of St. Joseph and, with this Apostolic Letter published on the 150th anniversary of his declaration as Patron of the universal Church, wants us to grow in love for the father of Jesus and spouse of Mary and to imitate his virtues, his way of exercising fatherhood and witnessing to the love of God. St. Joseph teaches us a faith that does not look for shortcuts, but faces what happens, assuming responsibility in the first person.

2. Joseph the Silent, Michel Gasnier O.P. The Gospels tell us almost nothing about St. Joseph, yet his life is full of spiritual treasures. Michel Gasnier O.P. here shows you where to find them and how they can enrich your own relationship with God. In this series of brief meditations, he explores St. Joseph's work as a carpenter, his marriage, his character, the flight into Egypt, his return to Nazareth, Simeon's prophecy, and more. He gives you an enlightening portrait of this man who remains one of the Church's most extraordinary saints and intercessors.

3. Joseph of Nazareth, Federico Suarez. The author writes about St. Joseph with great affection, commenting on the Gospel scenes and closely following St. Josemaría’s teachings. Discusses sanctifying work, obedience, prudence, intimacy with our Lord, etc. Clear and easy-to-read.

4. A spiritual toolkit on the Year of St Joseph from St Josemaria Institute:

5. The Shadow of the Father, Jan Dobracynski. A novelized biography about the life of St. Joseph. The book is a small masterpiece in its genre, describing the thoughts, feelings, and life of the holy patriarch. The author undertakes here the formidable task of reconstructing not only the life of the Holy Patriarch but also the environment in which he developed: the characteristics and difficulties he encountered; the climate of tension with which all awaited the coming of the Messiah; the political manoeuvres in the court of Herod, his intrigues, his crimes. For all this, he uses the sources of the Scriptures, as well as the vast literary material of his time. The book was expressly praised by Cardinal Wyszynski for giving a good portrait of the Protector of Jesus and his Immaculate Mother, making them so human, intelligible and lovable. Some virtues stand out especially in the book: his purity, simplicity, piety, industriousness, joy.

6. Redemptoris Custos, Saint John Paul II. St. Joseph, the spouse of Mary, is the protagonist of this apostolic exhortation of John Paul II. St. Joseph, just as he lovingly cared for Mary and devoted himself with a joyful dedication to the education of Jesus, also guards and protects today his mystical body, that is, the Church. In six sections, St. John Paul II reflects on the figure of St. Joseph, Custodian of the Redeemer, encouraging all Christians to trust in his patronage and to keep his humble and mature way of serving always before their eyes.

7. St Joseph and his world, Mike Aquilina. .”There are few subjects so challenging to authors as St. Joseph”. So says scholar Scott Hahn in his foreword to this book. Yet the pages that follow give not merely glimpses, but vistas, of St. Joseph’s world. Hahn continues: “You’ll learn about Nazareth — and how it was created almost ex nihilo shortly before Joseph’s birth. You’ll learn about religious practice and education in that place and time. You’ll travel to Egypt and encounter the fascinating settlements of Jews in that land. You’ll also find out how a carpenter worked in those days: what tools he used, what items he crafted, where he got his training, and how he got to and from his job sites.” This book provides an imaginative entry into one of the most important lives in all of history — a life too often obscured by later legends. "

8. Devotion to St Joseph, Federico Delclaux. The Seven Sundays of St. Joseph is a devotion to the patron of the universal Church. On the seven Sundays preceding his feast, March 19, the faithful have traditionally contemplated a series of circumstances—seven sorrows and joys—in his life so that they might confront the joys and sorrows of their own lives as he did.

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