In 2017, during a meeting with 140 senior generals of religious congregations, Pope Francis revealed a particular devotion. “If there is a problem, I write it down on a piece of paper and place it before a statue (…) of a sleeping St. Joseph”, said the Pontiff during the occasion.
The statement was given as a response following the questioning of one of the religious members present who queried the Pope about his secret to serenity. Francis said that he does not take any tranquillisers to allow him to sleep and that ever since his papal election peace has followed him.
“The image of St. Joseph sleeping sits on top of a paper rack! And I sleep well: it is God’s grace”, emphasised.
In a different occasion, during a speech for families the holy father went back to speaking about his devotion to St. Joseph. “I really like St. Joseph because he is a man of strength and silence. In my office, I have an image of a sleeping St. Joseph, and while he sleeps he takes care of the church. When I have a problem or am faced with a difficulty, I will write it on a piece of paper and I will place it underneath St. Joseph, so that he may dream on it. That means: for him to pray for that problem”, affirms.
The image which the Pope refers to is one of the few objects which he asked that be collected from Buenos Aires. The friendship with the saint is long standing. The parish where he confessed for 17 years when he lived in the Argentinean capital was devoted to the patron saint of the Church. The papal inauguration mass of Francis was held on 19th March, St. Joseph’s feast day.
For 40 years, Pope Francis has said a prayer to St. Joseph. “I like St. Joseph. He has so much power! For 40 years I recite a prayer that I found in an old french missal that says: “St. Joseph ‘whose power is able to render possible even things which are considered impossible'”.
O Glorious St. Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily.
O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in thee. Let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary. Show that thy goodness equals thy power.
St. Joseph, to whom God entrusted the care of the holiest family that has ever been, grant, we ask of you, the father and protector of ours, and let the grace be brought to us to live and die in the love of Jesus and Mary.
St. Joseph, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Translation: Gabriela Gois