St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, was proclaimed the protector of the Universal Church in 1870 by Pope Pius IX.
In 1621, his feast—celebrated on March 19—was extended to the entire Church by Pope Gregory XV.
“Christians of every rank and country should fly to the trust and guard of blessed Joseph,” proclaimed Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam Pluries, on August 15, 1889.
“Glorious St. Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary, grant us your fatherly protection, we beseech you through the Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” St. Francis de Sales used to pray.
It is customary to recite the Litany of St. Joseph throughout the entire month of March.