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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
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St. Joseph, the spouse of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the legal father of Jesus according to Jewish law, is a model of humility and obedience to God’s will. He followed God’s instructions, given by angels in dreams, and took the pregnant Mary into his home as his wife, protected her and Jesus at the child’s birth in Bethlehem through the family’s sojourn in Egypt, and provided for them as a carpenter in Nazareth. This feast, which was celebrated locally as early as the ninth century, became a universal feast in the 15th century, when it was placed on the liturgical calendar. Pope Pius IX named St. Joseph patron of the universal Church in 1870; he is also the patron saint of carpenters, the dying, and workers. We celebrate the Year of St. Joseph through Dec. 8. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) composed a Novena for the Solemnity of St. Joseph to be prayed yearly on March 10-18, the nine days that precede the feast on March 19. Each day of the novena will be accompanied by a reflection video from bishops across the United States. The novena may also be adapted for use at other times of the year, especially feasts celebrating Saint Joseph and occasions when his intercession is sought by the faithful. The USCCB Respect Life Office also offers a Novena to St. Joseph: For Those on the Path of Adoption. Sign up here to get daily novena prayers by email.