Successive Popes since the time of Leo XIII have continually exhorted the faithful to form a special devotion to St. Joseph the Patron of the Church. Just as St. Joseph led his family into and out of exile, so too does he lead the Mystical Body of Christ who is experiencing hardship and trial. More recently, on July 5, 2014, His Holiness Pope Francis has consecrated the Vatican City State to the protection of both St. Michael the Archangel and St. Joseph, showing us that the mission of these two saints has not ended, but is very real even today:


Michael is the champion of the primacy of God, of His transcendence and power. Michael struggles to restore divine justice and defends the People of God from his enemies, above all by the enemy par excellence, the Devil. And St. Michael wins because in him, there is his God who acts. … Though the devil always tries to disfigure the   face of the Archangel and that of humanity, God is stronger; it is His victory and His salvation that is offered to all men. … In consecrating Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him. We also consecrate Vatican City State to St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus, the guardian of the Holy Family. May his presence make us stronger and more courageous in making space for God in our lives to always defeat evil with good. We ask him to protect us, take care of us, so that a life of grace grows stronger in each of us every day.  – Pope Francis 

 

Psalm 105:21 - He made him master of his house, and ruler of all his possessions.   


Blessed Pope Pius IX, Inclytum Patriarcham:  In these latter times in which a monstrous and most abominable war has been declared against the Church of Christ … we should more efficaciously implore the compassion of God through the merits and intercession of Saint Joseph … Hence, by a special decree… We solemnly declare the blessed patriarch Joseph Patron of the Universal Church! … O God, who in your ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph as the spouse of your most holy mother, grant, we beseech you, that we may be made worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth…


Blessed Pope Pius IX, Inclytum Patriarcham: The Catholic Church rightly honors and venerates, with a feeling of deep reverence, the illustrious patriarch blessed Joseph, now crowned with glory and honor in heaven. On earth Almighty God, in preference to all His saints, willed him to be the chaste and true spouse of the Immaculate Virgin Mary as well as the putative father of His only-begotten Son. He indeed enriched him and filled him to overflowing with entirely unique graces, enabling him to execute more faithfully the duties of so sublime a state.

 

Pope Benedict XVI, Yaoundé, Cameroon, 19 March 2009:  Dear brothers and sisters, our meditation on the human and spiritual journey of Saint Joseph invites us to ponder his vocation in all its richness, and to see him as a constant model for all those who have devoted their lives to Christ in the priesthood, in the consecrated life or in the different forms of lay engagement. Joseph was caught up at every moment by the mystery of the Incarnation. Not only physically, but in his heart as well, Joseph reveals to us the secret of a humanity which dwells in the presence of mystery and is open to that mystery at every moment of everyday life.

 

Pope Leo XIII, Quamquam Pluries:  The Blessed Patriarch Joseph looks upon the multitude of Christians who make up the Church as confided especially to his trust - this limitless family spread over the earth, over which, because he is the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus Christ he holds, as it were, a paternal authority. It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.


Venerable Pope Paul VI, Homily, 19 March 1969:  The Church invokes St. Joseph as her Patron and Protector through her unshakable trust that he to whom Christ willed to confide the care and protection of His own frail human childhood, will continue from heaven to perform his protective task in order to guide and defend the Mystical Body of Christ Himself, which is always weak, always under attack, always in a state of peril. We call upon St. Joseph for the world, trusting that the heart of the humble working man of Nazareth, now overflowing with immeasurable wisdom and power, still harbors and will always harbor a singular and precious fellow-feeling for the whole of mankind. So may it be.

 

Pope Benedict XV, Bonum Sane:  We, full of confidence in the patronage of the one to whose provident supervision God was pleased to entrust the custody of his only-begotten Incarnate Son, and the Virgin Mother of God, we earnestly exhort all the Bishops of the Catholic world that, in times so turbulent for Christianity, to induce the faithful to pray with greater commitment for valuable help of St. Joseph. And since there are several ways approved by the Apostolic See with whom you can venerate the Holy Patriarch, especially every Wednesday throughout the year and month consecrated to Him, We want, for every Bishop to heed these requests - that all these devotions, as much as possible, are practiced in every diocese.

 

Pope Benedict XVI, Yaoundé, Cameroon, 19 March 2009:  The life of Saint Joseph, lived in obedience to God’s word, is an eloquent sign for all the disciples of Jesus who seek the unity of the Church. His example helps us to understand that it is only by complete submission to the will of God that we become effective workers in the service of his plan to gather together all mankind into one family, one assembly, one ‘ecclesia.’

 

St. Bernardino of Sienna:  What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honorably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph. 

 

Pope Benedict XV, Bonum Sane:  We now see, with true sorrow, that society is now much more depraved and corrupt than before, and that the so-called "social question" has been aggravating to such an extent as to create the threat of irreparable ruin. … World Government will no longer acknowledge the authority of the father over his children, or of the public power over the citizens, or of God over human society. All things which, if implemented, would lead to terrible social convulsions, like those which are already happening… We, therefore, concerned most of all by the course of these events … remind those on Our side, who earn their bread by their work, to save them from socialism, the sworn enemy of Christian principles, with great solicitude recommend them in particular to St. Joseph, to follow him as their guide and to receive the special honor of his heavenly patronage.


Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris:  To hasten the advent of that "peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ" so ardently desired by all, We entrust the vast campaign of the Church against world Communism under the standard of St. Joseph, her mighty Protector. He belongs to the working-class, and he bore the burdens of poverty for himself and the Holy Family, whose tender and vigilant head he was. To him was entrusted the Divine Child when Herod loosed his assassins against Him. In a life of faithful performance of everyday duties, he left an example for all those who must gain their bread by the toil of their hands. He won for himself the title of "The Just," serving thus as a living model of that Christian justice which should reign in social life. 

 

Pope Francis, Inaugural Mass, 19 March 2013:  How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. […] Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, and he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!