The Year of St. Joseph- “Special Indulgences and Prayer”
Dear friends, during this special Church year dedicated to St. Joseph, the Holy See has granted to all the faithful, an opportunity to gain special indulgences, with acts of prayers and good works, through the patronage of St. Joseph. What is an indulgence, you might ask?
An indulgence is defined in the Church’s Code of Canon Law, the “official” law of the Church, as a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven (i.e.- Confession). The faithful Christian when in the state of grace, completes the prescribed works, gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church as minister of redemption, the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. In simple terms, an indulgence can reduce the time one spends in purgatory. (For a further explanation of indulgences, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church or any reputable Catholic website.)
Along with special “Partial” indulgences, the Church has granted the distribution of a “Plenary” indulgence during the Year of St. Joseph. These conditions apply to gain a Plenary indulgence: Sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer according to the intentions of the Holy Father, to the faithful who, with a spirit detached from sin, participate in this special year.
To gain the Plenary Indulgence you need to:
- Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Our Father
- A spiritual retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph
- Perform a Corporal or Spiritual work of mercy
- Recite the Rosary in families & between husband and wife
- Entrust your daily work to the protection of St. Joseph the Worker
- Pray the Litany of St. Joseph in its entirety or at least partially, for the persecuted Church and all persecuted Christians
- Pray any approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph on the following remaining feast days: March 19 (Solemnity of St. Joseph); May 1 (Feast of St. Joseph the Worker); the 19th day of every month and every Wednesday in memory of St. Joseph
- The gift of Plenary indulgence extends particularly to the elderly, the sick, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons cannot leave their homes.
We can also pray daily or whenever possible the official prayer during the Year of St. Joseph, composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical “Quamquam Pluries.”
He asked the faithful to recite the prayer at the end of the Rosary, especially during October, the month of the Holy Rosary.
Blessings & peace,
The Official Prayer of the Year of St. Joseph
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.
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
Blessed Joseph, husband of Mary,
be with us this day.
You protected and cherished the Virgin;
loving the Child Jesus as your Son,
you rescued Him from the danger of death.
Defend the Church,
the household of God,
purchased by the Blood of Christ.
Guardian of the Holy Family,
be with us in our trials.
May your prayers obtain for us
the strength to flee from error
and wrestle with the powers of corruption
so that in life we may grow in holiness
and in death rejoice in the crown of victory.