St. Joseph’s ‘faithful trust and courage” provide a powerful pro-life witness, a US bishop has said, marking the start of Respect Life Month in the Year of St. Joseph.

“As the faithful protector of both Jesus and Mary, we find in St. Joseph a profound reminder of our own call to welcome, safeguard, and defend God’s precious gift of human life,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote Sept. 27.

“Despite the mysterious circumstances surrounding Mary’s pregnancy, St. Joseph took her into his home at the word of the angel. He guided their journey to Bethlehem, found shelter, and welcomed the infant Jesus as his son. When Herod threatened the life of the Christ Child, St. Joseph left his homeland behind and fled with Jesus and Mary to Egypt.”

Pope Francis has declared a Year of St. Joseph, running from Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church.

Archbishop Naumann released the statement ahead of Respect Life Month, which is celebrated during October each year. He noted that abortion, and efforts by lawmakers to provide taxpayer-funded abortion, remains a profound problem.

“Like St. Joseph, we are also called to care for those God has entrusted to us–especially vulnerable mothers and children. We can follow in the footsteps of St. Joseph as protector by advocating against taxpayer-funded abortion, which targets the lives of millions of poor children and their mothers here in the United States.”

Archbishop Naumann encouraged those wishing to help mothers in need or those struggling with difficult pregnancies to look into getting involved with or starting “Walking with Moms in Need” chapters at their parishes.

“At times, we may feel uncertain of our ability to answer the Lord’s call. But He invites us to faithfully respond, despite our own fears or weaknesses,” Archbishop Naumann concluded.

“May we imitate St. Joseph’s faithful trust and courage as we work to uphold the dignity of every human life. St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!”