The 151st Anniversary of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church

Today marks the 151st anniversary of Saint Joseph being declared the patron of the universal Church, by Pope Blessed Pius IX, on this day, in 1870.

(A reader commented on the original version of this notice, stating it was the 150th anniversary – alas, my math does not seem to be what is once was, not that it was ever much of anything. So it seems the Pope began the year of Saint Joseph on the 150th anniversary…)

Anon, as I was saying, that was sixteen years after the same Pontiff defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, on the same day, in 1854, with the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus. That was also the year the Pope began his long sojourn as the ‘prisoner of the Vatican’, with the usurpation of the papal states. But the loss of (most of) his temporal power, only increased his spiritual prestige.

We should beseech Saint Joseph mightily for his intercession. The close of this year dedicated to him should not end our devotion, but rather increase it ten, twenty a hundred fold!

On that note, peruse the Pope’s decree, Quemadmodum Deus, from that year, 1870. It’s but a page, but here an excerpt, that sounds sort of au courant:

And now that in this most sorrowful time the Church herself is beset by enemies on every side and oppressed by heavy calamities, so that impious men imagine that the gates of hell are at length prevailing against her, the Venerable Prelates of the whole Catholic world have presented to the Sovereign Pontiff their own petitions and those of the faithful confided to their care, praying that he would vouchsafe to constitute St. Joseph Patron of the Catholic Church.

Sancte Joseph, ora pro nobis!