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Vatican approves new invocations for Litany of St Joseph

A statue of St. Joseph is seen as Pope Francis leads his general audience at the Vatican March 24, 2021. With the approval of the pope, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has published several additions to the Litany of St. Joseph. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Updating the Litany of St Joseph, approved in 1909, the Vatican has added seven invocations, including two that address the guardian of Jesus and husband of Mary as “support in difficulty” and “patron of refugees”.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments published the additions May 1, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker.

The additions were approved by Pope Francis, the congregation said, and drew the new invocations mainly from modern papal texts about St Joseph, including Pope Francis’ December apostolic letter proclaiming a Year of St Joseph and St John Paul II’s 1989 apostolic exhortation, Redemptoris Custos (Protector of the Redeemer).

Since Pope Francis wanted, as he wrote in his letter, “to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal,” the Congregation said, it seemed appropriate to update the 112-year-old litany.

Providing only the Latin-language version of the invocations, the Congregation said it would be up to bishops’ conferences to translate the phrases and to add others if St Joseph is invoked by their people in a particular way.

The Latin phrases are:

“Custos Redemptoris” (Protector of the Redeemer);

“Serve Christi” (Servant of Christ);

“Minister salutis” (Minister of salvation);

“Fulcimen in difficultatibus” (Support in difficulty);

“Patrone exsulum” (Patron of refugees);

“Patrone afflictorum” (Patron of the afflicted); and

“Patrone pauperum” (Patron of the poor).