Hvordan den hellige Josef kom med i messens kanon – 8. desember 1962

I dag har vi feira festen for Den hellige familie; Jesus, Maria og Josef, og i år snakka jeg ekstra mye og varmt om Josef. Hvordan hans trofasthet er et eksempel for oss alle, og hvordan fokuset på Josef har økt de siste 100 år. I denne artikkelen kan men lese mer om hvordan katolikker har lagt stadig mer vekt på Josef, fra pave Pius IX i 1870 og aller mest under pave Johannes XXIII – han som til slutt også fikk Josef inn i messens kanon (slik at han ble nevnt hver gang man feirer messen, sammen med bl.a. Maria (selvsagt), Johannes døperen, Peter og Paulus.

Artikkelen nevner mange ting pave Johannes XXIII gjorde for å fokusere på den hellige Josef – bl.a. gjorde han ham til vernehelgen for Vatikankonsilet – og til slutt bestemte altså paven (under selv konsilet) at Josef skulle få fast plass i messens kanon:

On to the peak, then, of the present crescendo in Josephite devotion: Pope John’s decision to insert St. Joseph’s name in the very center of the Church’s prayer life, the Canon of the Mass.

Long before the First Vatican Council—in 1815 in fact—petitions began pouring into Rome requesting this privilege for Joseph. Many petitions went even further and asked that there be accorded to Joseph the highest veneration among all the angels and saints— «the public cult of dulia after the Mother of God but before anyone else in heaven.» Over the years, close to a million signatures were appended to petitions of this sort. The most famous of these petitions were the three issuing from some four hundred fathers of Vatican I. One of these was signed by, among others, thirty-eight of the forty-two cardinals then living, including Joachim Cardinal Pecci (later Leo XIII). It was in answer to these petitions that Pius IX proclaimed Joseph protector and patron of the Church in 1870. But even then Joseph lacked full liturgical honors.

In 1961, as preparations for Vatican II were underway, three centers of Josephological studies in Montreal (Canada), Valladolid (Spain) and Viterbo (Italy) undertook to bring this question once more to the attention of the hierarchy. Father Guy-Marie Bertrand, C.S.C., then acting-director of the research and documentation center in Montreal, drafted an anonymous memorandum30 outlining the theological, historical and liturgical aspects of such a move, skillfully answering the various objections that had previously been opposed to adding Joseph’s name to the Canon. This seventy-four-page memorandum was translated from French into several major modern languages and sent to almost the entire hierarchy of the Church. It bore the signatures of five prominent Josephologists: Father Francis J. Filas, S.J., chairman of Loyola University’s theology department, Chicago, and vice-president of the St. Joseph Research and Documentation Center, Montreal; Father Roland Gauthier, C.S.C., director of the Center in Montreal, editor of the Cahiers de Josephologie and now president of the North-American Society of Josephology; Father Jose Antonio del Nino Jesus, O.C.D., president of the Ibero-American Society of Josephology; Father Angelo Battiston, C.S.J., of the Center of Josephology, Viterbo, Italy; and Father Isidore de San Jose, O.C.D., director of the Spanish Center for Josephological Research, Valladolid, Spain, and editor of the Estudios Josefinos.

Besides the memorandum, a Latin formula requesting the addition was printed and circulated to all the cardinals and archbishops of the world, to the general superiors of religious orders of men, and to the entire hierarchy of Italy. This effort was thus limited only because the scholars involved lacked time in which to communicate with all the bishops of the world. As it was, the operation was carried on in a period of but a few months by a very small staff. Sponsors of the project were more than gratified when some five hundred future fathers of the Council returned the formulas signed.

In March 1962, these petitions were presented personally to His Holiness by Amleto Giovanni Cardinal Cicognani, together with the memorandum in five languages. The following morning, Pope John informed the cardinal that he had read through the material and was delighted with it. He forthwith instructed the cardinal to submit the petitions to the preparatory commission on the liturgy accompanied by a letter of special recommendation from himself.

The matter came before the Council itself during the 12th general congregation on November 6. Bishop Albert Cousineau, C.S.C., of Cap Haitien, Haiti (a former rector of St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal), and at least one other bishop are reported to have spoken in favor of the addition to the Canon. On the following day, the thirteenth general congregation made a preliminary vote on the second chapter of the schemata on liturgy, the chapter in which the insertion was treated.34 Just what decisions were arrived at have not yet been released, but one thing is sure, a final vote has not yet been made on this chapter by the Council.

A final vote on the addition of Joseph’s name may still be made by the Council, but it will now be only affirming what is already a reality. On or about Nov. 13, Pope John made the decision motu proprio to honor Joseph in the Canon. He inserted Joseph’s name in the age-old Communicantes, effective as of Dec. 8, 1962 – thus making this the first of the matters discussed by the Council to go into effect.

In making this decision public at the 18th general congregation, Nov. 13, the president of the Council’s Secretariat for Extraordinary Affairs, Cardinal Cicognani, said that Pope John decided to give St. Joseph the new honor to put it on record that the Second Vatican Council so honored its patron.

December 8, 1962—exactly ninety-two years after Pope Pius IX proclaimed Joseph to be the Church’s patron and protector— Joseph’s name was added to the daily Mass. In the Church’s most solemn of prayers he is now honored with his wife Mary. Those whom God has joined together, the Church-at-prayer now daily invokes together, thanks to Pope John XXIII, Pope of St. Joseph.

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