Contemporary theological research on Saint Joseph is rooted in a very recent past. It is however legitimate to find in the Italian City of Modena the first manifestation of this scientific renewal, notably by the publication of Il divoto di San Giuseppe (1863) magazine. It is also worth mentioning the city of Ferrara, where Father Antonio Maria Zanchini, assisted by Dominican Tommaso Baldrati, founded the Società promotrice in 1867 to obtain the proclamation of the patronage of Saint Joseph throughout the Church, with the success that we know. The interest in studying the figure of Saint Joseph was revived.
The revival of the scientific research is however more recent: it originates from Valladolid, where Father Carrasco, OCD, published in 1947 the Estudios Josefinos. On August 30th 1951, the foundation of the Sociedad Española Josefina initiated a movement that would amplifie and open to the whole world. Two years later, the Society was redefined in Sociedad Ibero-americana de Josefologia and included Spanish-speaking and Portugese-speaking countries. In 1957, Fr. Carrasco founded again the Centro español de investigaciones josefinas.
At the same time, Father Roland Gauthier, at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, launched in 1953 an exceptional scientific journal: the Cahiers de Joséphologie (renamed the Cahiers de l’Oratoire Saint- Joseph in 1966). The Documentation and Research Center of Mount-Royal was to become a reference for all research Centers to come. Today, it is possible to measure the extent of Father Gauthier’s work through the Roland-Gauthier Archives and documentation Center inaugurated in September 2014: we discover the largest collection of works relating to Saint Joseph in the world.
Little by little, theological research centers were founded around the world.
Italy, whose place was prominent from the beginning, became involved in 1952: the Congregazione di San Giuseppe (founded by Saint Leonard Murialdo) founded the Centro Studi San Giuseppe. The Congregazione degli Oblati di San Giuseppe (founded by Saint Joseph Marello) engages with the Movimento Giuseppino to promote the worship of Saint Joseph, especially by the Joseph (1963) magazine. The Movimento Giuseppino was created in 1989 in Asti to work at the reception of Saint John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos. Let us also mention the Pia Unione del Transito di San Giuseppe (founded by Saint Louis Guanella) and its magazine La Santa Crociata.
In South America, Mexico stands out, where the Misioneros Josefinos (founded by the Servant of God JM Vilaseca) founded three research centers. The oldest is the Centro de Estudios Josefinos de México (1958) which became the Centro de Documentación y Estudios Josefinos de México in 1982. Then in 1985, the Centre Josefino de Centro América was founded in Salvador and, in 1996 the Centro Josefino de Chile in Chile.
In Europe, we note that the Centrum Józefologiczne was founded in Kalisz in 1969. The city is home to one of the oldest shrines in the world dedicated to Saint Joseph, where devotion and pilgrimages are still very much alive. Since 2009, the Centre houses an institute of theological formation on Saint Joseph.
Thus, in the last 50 years, new Centers have emerged: in Kevelaer, Germany, the Arbeitskreis für Josefstudien (1992); in Rabat, Malta (1993); in Korea (1993); in Lima, Peru (2002); in Apucarana, Brazil (2003); in Puimisson, France, where the Institut Redemptoris Custos (InReC) was inaugurated March 19, 2011; in Kleinhain, Austria, where the Gemeinschaft vom heiligen Josef was inaugurated on January 23rd 2013.