The icon of St. Joseph with the child Christ will be the focus of prayer services for the next several years.
At the Knights of Columbus’ semi-annual meeting, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly unveiled the new icon of the KofC Pilgrim Prayer Program. The icon they chose this time around features St. Joseph holding the child Christ, a piece chosen to honor the Year of St. Joseph.
The Pilgrim Prayer Program is a tradition that the Knights of Columbus have kept since 1979. Every few years, the organization chooses a new icon that is distributed among the fraternity’s chapters. For the next several years, the icon of St. Joseph with Christ will be the focal point of prayer services to inspire members.
Previously selected icons include Our Lady of Perpetual Help, The Holy Family, Our Lady of the Rosary, and Our Lady of Charity, to name just a few. The first icon to ever be selected for the Pilgrim Prayer Program was Our Lady of Guadalupe, in 1979.As the Knights state on their website, these icons have been the focus of more than 174,800 council and parish prayer services with some 22 million participants..
According to the National Catholic Register, Kelly encouraged members to follow the “fatherly example” of St. Joseph at the meeting. He extolled the virtues exhibited by St. Joseph in the Bible, such as a “quiet strength, integrity, and fidelity.”
At the unveiling, Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore also spoke about the icon. He said:
“St. Joseph’s vocation to foster the earthly life of Jesus is, of course, unique, but all of us have been called to the obedience of faith,” Archbishop Lori said. “Father McGivney envisioned his Knights, above all, as men of obedient faith, who, with their wives and children, would live their vocation to the fullest.”
Archbishop Lori went on to call St. Joseph “a man of utmost integrity.” He noted that although St. Joseph did not know what plans God had in store for him, he still rose to the challenges with “honesty and reliability.”
According to CNA, Kelly presented the icon to Pope Francis during a meeting between the two in October. The pope was reportedly pleased that the Knights selected St. Joseph.
This year, the KofC also produced an hour-long documentary, St. Joseph: Our Spiritual Father, which ran on ABC affiliate stations for six weeks. The high-quality production wove scholarly interviews with high-quality reenactments and was well received.