Pilgrim Icon Program
Council: 13861 - SANFORD
Every few years, the Knights of Columbus select an icon of a saint whose patronage is particularly inspiring to Knights and their communities. Inspired by the apostolic letter Patris Corde, of Pope Francis, and the recently completed Year of St. Joseph, the icon chosen for 2022 is the image of St. Joseph holding the child Jesus. This beautiful icon is housed at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada founded by St. Andre Bessette.
St. Thomas council #13861 created a Pilgrim Icon program to honor St. Joseph in conjunction with our pastor, Fr. Wilfred Labbe. On a beautiful Monday morning, after Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the icon was carried into the church of Holy Family by an Honor Guard of 4th Degree Knights and placed on a pedestal in front of St. Josephs altar. The council Faith director introduced the icon and it’s significance to a congregation of 55 parishioners. Each parishioner received a holy card with the icon image and Patris Corde prayer. We recited the prayer in unison as the icon was set in its place of honor.
Mass immediately followed, with inspiring commentary from Fr. Labbe on how St. Joseph, who taught Jesus how to walk and talk and work, and who protected the Holy Family from harm is a perfect saint to help us in our personal tribulations. He pointed out that this is particularly true during Lent. The Holy Rosary (Joyful Mysteries) was led by the Knights after Mass, with particular intentions honoring the Father of Jesus. We ended with the Prayer to St. Joseph composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam pluries, “To you, O blessed Joseph…” found on page 26 of the #5050 Prayer Service Booklet.
At the conclusion of the service, while the Honor Guard recessed, the congregation was invited to come forward to bring their prayers and petitions to St. Joseph and to admire the beautiful icon created by Elizabeth Bergeron and patterned after Alexandre Sobolev’s original drawing. The icon remained in place for a week in Holy Family Church before being handed to the next council in our district.
Many favorable comments were received regarding the beauty of the icon, the power of St. Joseph and the prayerful spirituality of the program.