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As a background, the pope stated the challenges facing the Church, such as the growing depravity of morals in the young generation:
Now, Venerable Brethren, you know the times in which we live; they are scarcely less deplorable for the Christian religion than the worst days, which in time past were most full of misery to the Church. We see faith, the root of all the Christian virtues, lessening in many souls; we see charity growing cold; the young generation daily growing in depravity of morals and views; the Church of Jesus Christ attacked on every side by open force or by craft; a relentless war waged against the Sovereign Pontiff; and the very foundations of religion undermined with a boldness which waxes daily in intensity.
And he urged Catholics to pray to Saint Joseph, as the patron of the Church:
It is of high importance that the devotion to St. Joseph should engraft itself upon the daily pious practices of Catholics, We desire that the Christian people should be urged to it above all by Our words and authority. The special motives for which St. Joseph has been proclaimed Patron of the Church, and from which the Church looks for singular benefit from his patronage and protection, are that Joseph was the spouse of Mary and that he was reputed the Father of Jesus Christ. From these sources have sprung his dignity, his holiness, his glory. In truth, the dignity of the Mother of God is so lofty that naught created can rank above it.
The pope then prescribed that during October, a prayer to St. Joseph be added to the Rosary and granted an indulgence of seven years and seven Lents for each such act.
- Raymond Burke, 2008, Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons,seminarians, and Consecrated Persons, Queenship Publishing ISBN 1-57918-355-7 page 576
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