For those of you who have been following my blogs, especially during March, you will recall that St. Joseph is a long-time and dear patron saint for me.
In fact, during the recent Papal Conclave I was praying that the Inauguration of the new Pope's Petrine Ministry would take place on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph. And that's exactly what happened: Pope Frances formally began his ministry as the Successor to Peter on that day.
As the Second Vatican Council was underway some fifty years ago, the Constitution on the Liturgy [Sacrosanctum Concilium] was the first Council document to be approved and published. At the same time, Pope John XXIII decided to include the name of St. Joseph to the Roman Canon, now known as Eucharistic Prayer I. St. Joseph was not named in the other Eucharistic Prayers since they were prepared and published a few years later.
I must confess that over the years I have consistently added the name of St. Joseph when I was praying the other Eucharistic Prayers. Surely not a liturgical aberration!
Well, good news! The Congregation for Divine Worship has published a decree that beginning immediately the name of St. Joseph is to be inserted into Eucharist Prayers II, III, and IV. Those Prayers will be altered to include him in this way:
....that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
with blessed Joseph, her Spouse,.....
And in Spanish:
....con Maria, la Virgen Madre de Dios,
su esposo san Jose,.....
I have that inner feeling that Pope Francis is the one who made this important addition to the other Eucharistic Prayers. He has had a long devotion to St. Joseph, and I suspect that he decided to take this step.
This new inclusion of St. Joseph will certainly vault this wonderful Saint to a new recognition and appreciation.
St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer, pray for us!
St. Joseph, Patron of the Church, pray for us!