The name of the “Head of the Lord’s family” after the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Spouse
By a decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated May 1st, 2013 and announced on Wednesday June 19th, the name of St. Joseph—«head of the Lord’s family, the righteous man, guardian, and support of the mystical body of the Church», an «exemplary model of generous humility», «witness of those common, human, simple virtues necessary for men to be honest and authentic followers of Christ», «most chaste spouse of the Mother of God and heavenly Patron of the whole Church»—has been added after that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Spouse, in the Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV of the Roman Missal. The mention of St. Joseph was already present in the Eucharistic prayer of the Roman Canon, at the request of Blessed Pope John XXIII, who entrusted the successful outcome of the Second Vatican Council to the patronage of the “Righteous man of God”. The Decree that has just been issued repeats some of the expressions used by John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation “Redemptoris Custos” and, in the Pontificate of Pope Francis, fulfills an intent also strongly felt by Benedict XVI.
“This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by virtue of the faculties granted by the Supreme Pontiff Francis, is pleased to decree that the name of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary is henceforth to be added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV, as they appear in the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, after the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as follows: in Eucharistic Prayer II: «ut cum beáta Dei Genetríce Vírgine María, beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso, beátis Apóstolis»; in Eucharistic Prayer III: «cum beatíssima Vírgine, Dei Genetríce, María, cum beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso,cum beátis Apóstolis»; and in Eucharistic Prayer IV: «cum beáta Vírgine, Dei Genetríce, María, cum beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso,cum Apóstolis».