The Year of St. Joseph
Pope Francis has proclaimed this the Year of St. Joseph.
In his Apostolic Letter Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis wrote, “Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble.”
On December 8, 1870, Blessed Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph as Patron of the Catholic Church. On the 150th anniversary of the proclamation, Pope Francis shared personal reflections on “this extraordinary figure, so close to our own human experience.” In his Apostolic Letter, Pope Francis described St. Joseph as a beloved father; a tender and loving father; an obedient father; an accepting father; a creatively courageous father; a working father; and a father in the shadows.
Pope Francis' Prayer to St. Joseph
We at St. Joseph’s Academy invite you to join us each Monday morning as we pray Pope Francis’ Prayer to St. 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.
(Composed by Pope Francis in Patris Corde)
What We're Doing
Students, faculty and staff received a prayer card with Pope Francis’ Prayer to St. Joseph. Our parents, alumnae and friends were mailed a copy of the prayer and invited to join the school community each Monday morning in prayer.
On March 19, we celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph with a virtual prayer service live streamed on our Facebook page. On this day, we also collected food items for St. Vincent de Paul. SJA students, faculty and staff, parents and alumnae brought individually wrapped fiber or granola bars and commercially wrapped sleeves of cookies, peanut butter crackers and cheese-and-crackers. More than 5,000 plastic bags were filled with snacks and transported to St. Vincent de Paul. Out-of-town alumnae and friends were encouraged to make a donation to a food bank in their area.
Also on March 19, a Year of St. Joseph art contest was announced. Students will be able to submit artwork of St. Joseph representing his many titles and expressions in our church tradition: Joseph as a father, as a husband, as a worker and as a protector. Several will be chosen for banners that will be used at events during the upcoming year.
Each morning, students, faculty and staff receive a maxim for daily reflection. Maxims are short, spiritual sayings that Father Jean-Pierre Medaille, the founding Jesuit spiritual director of the congregation, gave to the early Sisters to help them stay rooted in God's grace.
Throughout this year, theology classes will explore St. Joseph as the patron of our Sisters, the Diocese of Baton Rouge and local parishes. Students will learn about St. Joseph in sacred scripture, his titles and pray his Litany.
Each discipline will have a lesson or project which focuses on St. Joseph and is tied to the curriculum. These lessons will be implemented between August and December of 2021.
We encourage you to join us in celebrating the Year of St. Joseph in the Church.
Consecration to St. Joseph
Students, faculty, staff, alumnae, parents and friends were invited to make a consecration to St. Joseph, placing ourselves under his powerful protection and continued patronage. The consecration to St. Joseph is a prayer of entrustment, when we ask him to be a special friend, protector and father to us, just like he was to Jesus. Through this devotion to our patron saint, we are placing our lives in his fatherly hands, trusting that St. Joseph will always quietly and humbly lead us to Jesus.
We prepared daily for the consecration to St. Joseph through praying a novena based on Father Michael Gaitley’s “Nine Days to Joseph.” The daily prayers began on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, with the consecration day on Friday, April 30, 2021, the eve of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The daily prayer was prayed as a school on campus and posted to social media for all who wished to join us from afar.
Day 1: St. Joseph, Powerful Intercessor
Dear St. Joseph,
I know that your prayers are particularly powerful because of how close you are to God. Jesus, fully God and fully man, chose to place himself under obedience to you in his earthly childhood and listens to you as you bring my intentions to Him. Because of this, I especially want to entrust myself to your fatherly care, just as Jesus Himself did. While in the past I may have brought to you one of my intentions here or there, this time I want to do something new. This time, I want to give you all. St. Joseph, I want to forever entrust to you all of my needs and cares, trusting that you will bring them, with Mary, to your Son, Jesus.
Dear St. Joseph, as the best of fathers, as the one God chose to be the virginal father of Jesus, I believe that you know what I need better than I do myself. So go ahead, St. Joseph. I give you permission to care for me as your child. In doing so, I trust that you will do everything in your power to make my life into something beautiful for God. I trust that you will watch over me and that your prayers will guide me, bless me and protect me. I trust that you will now care for me with the same love and tenderness with which you cared for Jesus. I'll confirm this special relationship with you in nine days, when I make my prayer of consecration. Over the next 9 days, help me to prepare for this special entrustment.
Saint Joseph, Powerful Intercessor, please pray for me and all my intentions.
Day 2: St. Joseph, Loving Spouse of Mary
Dear St. Joseph,
I'm thinking about the angel's words to you, "Do not be afraid to take Mary for your wife" (Mt 1:20). Saint Joseph, you weren't afraid. You trusted God. And now you truly are the husband of Mary. After Jesus, you are the dearest person to her heart! Well, St. Joseph, as my spiritual father, I now ask you to speak to Mary about me, about my life. If you kindly adopt me as your spiritual child, then I know all the more that Mary will take me to her heart, as well. Both of you truly are my spiritual parents. And just as any good father wants to see his children love their mother, I know that you will help me to know and love my spiritual mother more. By your powerful prayers, I ask you to help me realize what a gift I have in Mary. Pray for me that I will better appreciate her motherly role in my life. Saint Joseph, I know that you love her. I know it makes you happy to see her children love her with all their hearts. Therefore, as I prepare to consecrate myself totally to your fatherly care, I give you permission, in fact, I'm pleading with you: Help me to appreciate my Mother Mary even more. Help me to see how both of you desire to lead me closer to Jesus, closer to the fullness of my life.
Saint Joseph, Loving Spouse of Mary, please help me to love my spiritual mother even more.
Day 3: St. Joseph, Good Provider
Dear St. Joseph,
As the foster father of Jesus, you provided for his human needs. Through the work of your hands, he had food to strengthen him, a house to give him shelter and clothes to keep him warm. Now, from heaven, you're still working, St. Joseph. Indeed, the loving labor of your prayers provides for all the members of the Body of your Son. But as I'm preparing to entrust myself completely to your care, I ask you to please provide for me and for my loved ones in a special way. Through your prayers, please make sure that we always have food to eat, a roof over our heads and clothes to wear. Also, please pray for us that in times of abundance, we will never forget God. Pray for us that we will always be grateful for God's gifts and that we will never be a slave to things like food or money, pleasure or power. Finally, help us always to remember and be generous with the poor.
Saint Joseph, with you as my spiritual father, I will do my best not to give in to useless anxiety about my job, money or material things. I believe you will always make sure I have what I need, and as a good father, I ask that you indulge me a bit by even providing for my material wants, provided they don't take me away from Jesus. Help me to see my material blessings as gifts from God, just like you did.
Saint Joseph, Good Provider, please provide for my needs through your powerful prayers.
Day 4: St. Joseph, Strong Guardian
Dear St. Joseph,
When I think about how God gave me my guardian angel, St. Michael, and especially your powerful intercession, I am not afraid. Please be my spiritual father, always defending me. Help me to know that I am safe in your care. When I think about how you are known as the "Terror of Demons" or about how you protected Baby Jesus from Herod, then I am at peace in trusting your fatherly protection.
Please be a strong guardian to our school and help me to keep my eyes on Jesus. Saint Joseph, I believe that you will protect me from my enemies, seen and unseen. I believe that you will protect me from bodily and spiritual harm. I trust in your fatherly care. Saint Joseph, I will do my best not to give in to fear, knowing that you are praying for me in a special way.
Saint Joseph, Strong Guardian, please defend me with your prayers.
Day 5: St. Joseph, Who Did God’s Will
Dear St. Joseph,
You did God's will beautifully. Joseph, I want to also do God's most perfect will. But on my own, I will fail. I need your help. I trust that as my spiritual father, you will guide me to always do God's most perfect will. Truly, St. Joseph, I want to reach the degree of glory that God has prepared for me in heaven. I want to bear fruit that will last. I want to be a saint. Help me, St. Joseph. You see how weak and sinful I am. But teach me, good father. Help me to follow the commandments, and please make my heart sensitive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. I know that as I entrust myself to your care, you will guide me and show me how to always do God's will out of love for Him. I give you permission to redirect the stream of my life if it ever departs from God's most perfect will.
Saint Joseph, who did God's will, please always keep me in God's most perfect will.
Day 6: St. Joseph, Who Suffered with Love
Dear St. Joseph,
As I draw closer to you, I can't help but notice the scars on your heart, how you suffered with love. You suffered darkness and confusion when Mary was found with child. You suffered the sacrifice of your flesh as you lovingly offered up the absence of bodily intimacy in marriage. You suffered a sword in your heart, with Mary, when Simeon foretold the passion of your Son. You suffered stress and uncertainty when you had to escape with your family to Egypt and live as an immigrant. You suffered crushing anxiety when your 12-year-old Son was lost for three days. You daily suffered fatigue and bodily aches from your manual labor. Worst of all, your fatherly heart grieved at knowing that you could not be there for Jesus and Mary when their darkest hour would one day come.
Saint Joseph, thank you for what you suffered in God's service, in union with your Son. I love you, St. Joseph. Thank you for your yes. Now, please help me to suffer with love as you did. When I suffer, help me not to complain. Help me not to forget love. Help me not to forget others. Dear St. Joseph, through my suffering, watch over my poor heart: May it not harden but rather become more merciful. Help me to remember all God's children who are suffering in the world, and help me to offer my suffering for them and for the good of the Church. I am counting on you, St. Joseph. I know you will be with me, helping me to suffer with love.
Saint Joseph, who suffered with love, please help me also to suffer with a love like yours.
Day 7: St. Joseph, Pure of Heart
Dear St. Joseph,
I want to be a saint like you. Please beg Jesus to give me the grace of purity in mind, heart and body. Regarding purity of body, St. Joseph, guard me, protect me and defend me from temptations against purity and true freedom. I rely on you, St. Joseph. Don't let me fall. Don't let my eyes or thoughts wander. If they do, please bring them back to Jesus. I trust in you, St. Joseph. You lived purely with Mary in the midst of her beauty. Help me to see the beauty of others with your own pure vision. If I fall, help me to find God's mercy and free me from any bondage to such sin. Regarding purity of intentions, help me do everything not to please myself or others but to please God alone. Give me this grace as my dear spiritual father. I trust in you, St. Joseph.
Saint Joseph, Pure of Heart, please lend me your own purity of heart.
Day 8: St. Joseph, Man of Peace and Joy
Dear St. Joseph,
Imagining your daily, quiet, hidden life with the Son of God, you must have experienced incredible joy. You lived in the presence of Jesus and Mary. St. Joseph, please pray for me that I will find my joy by also living in their presence. Having yourself lived in their presence; you must have been a man of such peace.
St. Joseph, please pray for me that I keep my joy and not give in to sadness, laziness or discouragement. Also, pray that I keep my peace of soul and not hold on to anger and bitterness in my heart. Help me to be merciful to everyone by offering forgiveness that I might also, like you, be a man of true peace and joy.
Saint Joseph, Man of Peace and Joy, please put me at peace and help me find joy.
Day 9: St. Joseph, Who Died So Beautifully
Dear St. Joseph,
When I come to the end of my days, I trust that you will be there to greet me with Jesus and Mary in a special way. Will you please promise me this? I believe that you will be there for me. For my part, I will live my life with joy and gratitude for the gift of life each day.
Thank you for giving us the example of living and dying with dignity. Help me to follow your footsteps by embracing the gift of my life and trusting God’s plan even unto death, whenever it may be. Allow me to be surrounded by Jesus and Mary like you were, and please make sure that my soul is always prepared so that I will never be lost! Dear St. Joseph, obtain this grace for me as I consecrate myself to your fatherly care. Tomorrow, I am fully yours. Probably someday after that, I will die, and I give you permission to take me home to my Father's house when that day arrives.
Saint Joseph, who died so beautifully, please help me to appreciate the gift of my life by preparing for the gift of eternal life.
Consecration Day: St. Joseph, Powerful Intercessor
Dear St. Joseph,
On this day, before God and your Immaculate Spouse, Mary, I ___________________ choose you as my spiritual father forever. I formally entrust myself to your fatherly care. I love you, and I trust in your prayers for my life. As your spiritual child, I give you full permission to please act in my life, especially by...
- Praying for me constantly in a special way,
- Bringing me even deeper into the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
- Providing for me and all my loved ones,
- Guarding and protecting me from bodily and spiritual evil,
- Guiding me to always do God's most perfect will,
- Helping me to suffer with love and without complaint,
- Giving me purity of body and of soul,
- Forming me into a person of peace and joy,
- Preparing me for a beautiful and happy death someday.
From this day forward, St. Joseph, you are my spiritual father, and I am your child. I trust you and love you, and I look forward to meeting you someday in heaven. I ask all of this in Jesus' name and for the glory of God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
In addition to being the patron of our beloved St. Joseph’s Academy and the Congregation of St. Joseph, St. Joseph is the patron of workers, fathers and a happy death.
2021-2022 Charism Theme
Our annual charism themes are inspired by the unique charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
The charism theme for the 2021-2022 academic year is Relationships: Sacred Threads that Connect.