The prayer service, flowing from the Year of St. Joseph declared by Pope Francis in 2021, and inspired by his apostolic letter Patris Corde, is sponsored by Knights of Columbus to honor St. Joseph, and pray for his intercession in preserving, cultivating, and passing on the Catholic faith to future generations.
Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly chose to entrust his service as Supreme Knight to St. Joseph and through this Pilgrim Icon Program, encourage Knights and their communities to “turn in prayer to St. Joseph, give thanks to God for the gift of fatherly example, and ask St. Joseph to be a father to us” as we seek to “grow in our own imitation of St. Joseph’s quiet strength, integrity and fidelity.”
In the first year of his pontificate, Pope Francis received the Order’s Board of Directors in a private audience, during which the Holy Father said, “I commend all of you in a special way to the intercession of St. Joseph, the protector of the Holy Family of Nazareth, who is an admirable model of those manly virtues of quiet strength, integrity and fidelity which the Knights of Columbus are committed to preserving, cultivating and passing on to future generations of Catholic men.”
The St. Joseph icon is the latest icon to be a part of the Knights of Columbus Pilgrim Icon Program. Every few years, the Knights of Columbus selects an icon of a saint whose patronage is particularly inspiring to Knights and their communities to be featured in the program. The icons travel from council to council and serve as the centerpieces for prayer services in parishes throughout the Order.
Since its inception in 1979, the program has held more than 174,800 local council and parish prayer services with some 22 million participants. Featured images have included Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of Pochaiv, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Charity, Our Lady of Persecuted Christians, and the Holy Family.
All members of the community are encouraged to join Knights of Columbus to pray for the intercession of St. Joseph in raising, guarding, and preparing future generations on July 10th at 1:00 PM at St. Patrick’s Church.