From the Office of the Bishop
Year of Saint Joseph
On December 8th, Pope Francis announced to us a Year of Saint Joseph on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation by Pope Pius IX of Saint Joseph as patron of the Universal Church.
A saint far from being unrecognized, because according to certain historical studies, the worship of Saint Joseph would have prospered at the beginning of the Church. First among the Copts, in the East, then spread to the West. And it was at the end of the 16th century that Pope Sixtus IV officially instituted his feast on March 19. Then, in 1621, Pope Gregory XV declared it a feast of obligation for the universal Church.
Very early in the country, in 1624, a Recollet missionary, Father Joseph Caron chose Saint Joseph as the first patron of Canada, which was still New France at that time. Moreover, according to historian Henri-Paul Bergeron, “Les Relations des Jésuites”, a diary kept by missionaries and which has come down to us today, reveals to us how popular this cult was in New Brunswick. France. It was under his patronage that the evangelization of the Indians was accomplished, and this is the name customarily given to new converts. The custom quickly established itself and has been retained until very recently in Quebec of choosing the name of Joseph as the first patronymic at baptism for boys (and of Mary for girls). "
In 1637, Father Le Jeune shared in “Les Relations des Jésuites” what he had experienced during a feast in honor of Saint Joseph, using the language of the time (ie old French for us): “The Feste of the glorious Patriarch Sainct Joseph, Father, Patron Saint and Protector of New France, is one of the great solemnities of this country; on the eve of that day, which is so dear to us, the Flag was raised and the cannon played. The Governor had fires of celebration made, as full of artifice as I have hardly seen in France. On one side, a pau was erected on which appeared the name of Saint Joseph in lights; above this sacred name shone a number of fire candles, from which left ten huict or twenty little serpentines which worked wonders ... On the day of the Feste, our Church was filled with people and devotion almost as in a day of Pasques, each blessing God for having given us as protector the protector and the Guardian Angel (so to speak) of Jesus Christ his Son. It is, in my opinion, by his favor and his merits, that the inhabitants of New France living on the banks of the great Sainct Laurens river, have resolved to receive all the good customs and to refuse entry to the bad. "
This beautiful devotion spread over time throughout the country by dedicating to Saint Joseph a number of chapels, parishes and shrines, the most famous and most important of which is that founded by the humble Saint Brother André, Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mont Royal.
This devotion also spread in Acadia thanks to various religious communities, mainly the Congregation of the Holy Cross and of course our “Religieuse Hospitallière de Saint-Joseph”. We also have in our diocese a sanctuary dedicated to Saint Joseph in Tracadie as well as a parish, the parish of “Saint-Joseph-serviteur-fidèle” and indirectly the parish of “Saint-Frère-André” (we cannot dissociate Brother André from his dear Saint Joseph).
Pope Francis' greatest wish for the coming year is to allow us over the coming months to make our love for Saint Joseph grow in us, to implore him more often and to imitate his virtues and his enthusiasm. . To do this, he wrote us a beautiful Apostolic Letter PATRIS CORDE (With a Father's heart) revealing to us Saint Joseph as a beloved father, a father in tenderness, a father in obedience, a father in welcoming, a father with creative courage, a hardworking father and a father in the shadows.
To help us celebrate this Year of Saint Joseph, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has also designed a web page dedicated to it from today, March 19, on this Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This webpage, Celebrating the Year of Saint Joseph - Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (cccb.ca) contains many resources, including prayers and devotions, catechesis for adults and children, Church materials, a list of online resources and a consecration to Saint Joseph. You will also find there a series of short films illustrating the different facets of the paternity of Saint Joseph contained in the Apostolic Letter PATRIS CORDE. As bishop, I had the pleasure of contributing to the theme, Saint Joseph, Father in Tenderness.
In communion with our ancestors in the faith, may Saint Joseph become for us, in this year which is consecrated to him, a humble and faithful companion on the road to holiness. I leave you with this beautiful prayer to Saint Joseph from Pope Francis:
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.
Happy Year of Saint Joseph + Daniel Jodoin, your Bishop
News of our priests
Priests’ Retreat : This year the priests' retreat will take place in the fall of 2021.
Here are the tentative dates: From 25 to 29 October 2021
You will receive more information in the coming months.
News of our religious orders