Hi, Henrik —
The addition of St. Joseph to the Mass in the Latin rite did indeed occur in 1962, specifically in the Canon of the Mass (Encyclical Letter: Laudato Si). This addition took place many years after St. Joseph's death, which may seem late. It is important to note that the Church's recognition of St. Joseph's significance does not solely depend on his inclusion in the Mass. The Church has always recognized the importance of St. Joseph, as evidenced by various documents and devotions throughout history.
For example, in 1889, Pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical Quamquam pluries, which emphasized the importance of devotion to St. Joseph. Also see Apostolic Exhortation: Redemptoris Custos. This shows that even before St. Joseph's inclusion in the Mass, the Church recognized his significance and encouraged devotion to him.
It is indeed surprising that some people in the past may not have fully recognized the importance of St. Joseph, considering his unique relationship with Jesus. St. Joseph played a crucial role in the life of Jesus and the Holy Family. He cared for and protected Mary and Jesus, even delivering them from the violence of the unjust by bringing them to Egypt (Directory: On Popular Piety And The Liturgy See reference 218.) St. Joseph is described as a just man, hard-working, strong, and tender (Directory: On Popular Piety And The Liturgy See reference 221.) He is seen as a model of care, generosity, and tenderness in protecting the world entrusted to us by God (Directory: On Popular Piety And The Liturgy See reference 222.)
Regarding saints like Jacob/Israel or Moses, it is true that they do not have specific feast days dedicated to them in the liturgical calendar. However, their importance is recognized through their mention and readings about them at Mass. For example, you mentioned that yesterday you read about St. Jacob/Israel when he met Joseph in the Old Testament at Mass. This shows that the Church does acknowledge and include these figures in the liturgy, even if they do not have dedicated feast days.
It is interesting to note that St. Joseph does not have any dialogue or monologue in the New Testament. However, this does not diminish his importance. St. Joseph's role as the foster father of Jesus and the spouse of Mary is significant, and his actions and presence speak volumes about his character and devotion to his family. The Church recognizes St. Joseph as the custodian of the universal Church and a minister of salvation. His obedience to God's will and his selfless service to the Holy Family make him a model for all Christians.
In conclusion, while the addition of St. Joseph to the Mass in the Latin rite may have occurred relatively late, the Church has always recognized his importance and encouraged devotion to him. The inclusion of saints like Jacob/Israel or Moses in the liturgy, even without dedicated feast days, shows that their significance is acknowledged. St. Joseph's lack of dialogue or monologue in the New Testament does not diminish his importance, as his actions and presence speak volumes about his role in the life of Jesus and the Holy Family. The Church invites us to look to St. Joseph as a model of care, generosity, and tenderness in our own lives.
- Encyclical Letter: Laudato Si by Pope Francis: On Care For Our Common Home.
Given in Rome at Saint Peter's on 24 May, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 2015.
- Apostolic Exhortation: Redemptoris Custos by Pope St. John Paul II:
On The Person And Mission Of Saint Joseph In The Life Of Christ And Of The Church.
- Directory: On Popular Piety And The Liturgy by the Congregation For Divine Worship and the Discipline Of The Sacraments - Principles And Guidelines - Vatican City, December 2001