The Diocese of Parañaque in the Philippine capital has declared three parish churches dedicated to St. Joseph as pilgrim churches.
The churches are the St. Joseph Parish church, also known as Bamboo Organ Church, in Las Piñas; the St. Joseph Parish in Tambo church in Parañaque; and the St. Joseph the Worker Parish church in Mariposa, Las Piñas.
“In this special year, I declare these parishes to be pilgrim churches in order to encourage you, our dear faithful, to go to St. Joseph to guide and accompany you in your desire to live a holy life,” read a message from Bishop Jesse Mercado of Parañaque on Dec. 27.
On Dec. 8, during the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother, Pope Francis declared a “Year of St. Joseph” through an Apostolic Letter titled Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”).
It aims to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
The special year would extend until the celebration of the same Solemnity in 2021.
Bishop Mercado also established a day of novena to St. Joseph, which will be prayed every Thursday of the week.
“Together as a Church let us plead for the continuous intercession to us of St. Joseph – patron of workers, patron of a happy death, the ‘Guardian of the Church,’ and ‘protector of the unfortunate, the needy, exiles, the afflicted, the poor, and the dying,'” he said.
During the special year, the bishop urged parishes to have an image of St. Joseph placed inside their churches and chapels for everyone to be reminded to “pray and meditate through the sign of his person.”
“Let every parish with its various commissions and groups ponder the virtues of St. Joseph, which Pope Francis has profoundly presented in his Apostolic Letter Patris Corde,” said Bishop Mercado.