Did you know that December 8 marks the final day of the year of St. Joseph? This past year, in honor of the 150th anniversary of his sainthood, Pope Francis chose to recognize St. Joseph and the significance of his role in the redemption story. St. Joseph’s faithfulness and obedience to God remind us to be open to God’s plans for our lives, even when they may seem impossible. In honor of the end of the year of St. Joseph, we invite you to reflect on these three prayers by Pope Francis.
A Prayer for Trusting God
You who have always trusted God, and have made your choices guided by his providence, teach us not to count so much on our own plans but on his plan of love. You who come from the peripheries help us to convert our gaze and to prefer what the world discards and marginalizes. Comfort those who feel alone and support those who work silently to defend life and human dignity.
A Prayer for Strength
You who guarded the bond with Mary and Jesus, help us to care for the relationships in our lives. May no one experience that sense of abandonment that comes from loneliness. Let each of us be reconciled with our own history, with those who have gone before, and recognize even in the mistakes made a way through which Providence has made its way, and evil did not have the last word. Show yourself to be a friend to those who struggle the most, and as you supported Mary and Jesus in difficult times, support us too on our journey.
A Prayer for Love
You who loved Mary with freedom, and chose to renounce your fantasies to give way to reality, help each of us to allow ourselves to be surprised by God and to accept life not as something unforeseen from which to defend ourselves, but as a mystery that hides the secret of true joy. Obtain joy and radicality for all engaged Christians, while always being aware that only mercy and forgiveness make love possible.
Speech given by Pope Francis at Paul VI Audience Hall on Wednesday, 17 November 2021. The Vatican
Speech given by Pope Francis at Saint Peter’s Basilica – Paul VI Audience Hall on Wednesday, 24 November 2021. The Vatican
Speech given by Pope Francis at Paul VI Audience Hall on Wednesday, 1st December 2021. The Vatican
Light a Candle at the Basilica
In honor of Saint Joseph, we invite you to light a candle today at the National Shrine. Vigil candles burn in the chapels throughout the Great Upper Church and lower crypt level of the National Shrine. Each candle represents the faith of the supplicants and their fervent prayers entrusted to the loving intercession of the Blessed Mother.