A Letter from the Prior General, O.Carm. and Superior General, O.C.D. to the Carmelite Family on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
This year, 2020, we celebrated the feast of St. Joseph in the full throws of a pandemic, that forced us to remain in our own homes. Because of that, we felt the need even more to turn to that just and faithful man who knew the meaning of hardship, exile, and worries about tomorrow, but did not lose heart, but continued to believe and hope God, from whom he had received a very unique mission: he was to take care of Mary and the child Jesus, the family of Nazareth, the embryo of the new family that God was giving to the world. Pope Francis, preaching in Santa Marta, reminded us of some of the qualities of St. Joseph: the man of clear and practical vision, capable of doing his work with precision and professional skill, and one who at the same time penetrated the mystery of God, beyond all that was familiar to him or was under his control, and in the presence of which he kneels and adores.
It does us good to think about St. Joseph, to meditate on him as one whom our tradition has recognised as a patron and a model of Carmelite life. It is something we want to do together, as a Carmelite family, O.Carm. and O.C.D., because in our veneration of St. Joseph, and in our constant reference to him, we find one of the most precious aspects of our common heritage and spirituality. This year has the added motivation of a significant anniversary, namely, the proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, by Pope Pius IX, on the 8th of December 1870, 150 years ago.