Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels

~~Witnesses of Faith pray for us ! ~~

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Feast of Saint Joseph, caste Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Foster-father of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Holy Family, Mary and Joseph, are the summit from which holiness spreads all over the earth.

Saint Joseph is, as we all know, the Patron of the Universal Church. Along with Mary he is one of the most honored saints in the entire array of saints found in the life and history of our Church. It is fitting that this be so - he was next to Mary, the Guardian of Jesus, the link between Christ and the prophetic portrayal of the origins of the Messiah being found in the "House of David".

It follows that we must honor by a special homage this dignity of excellence of St. Joseph. "In the family of Nazareth", says Cornelius a Lapide, "were the three greatest and most excellent persons in the world. Wherefore to Christ is due the divine worship, to the Virgin a higher worship than to Saint's and to St Joseph the full worship due to Saints" God revealed to him the mystery of the Incarnation and "chose him among all to commit to his care the Incarnate Word and the eternal Virginity of Mary."

Saint Joseph is therefore justly considered the patron and model of interior and contemplative souls. And in the heavenly home St. Joseph has a powerful influence over the heart of the Son of his most blessed Spouse

In addition to being honored as the Patron Saint of the Universal Church, he is hailed as the Patron of Workers, Patron of Families, Patron of the Sick and Dying, and the Guardian Saint of Virgins. He is also the patron of those engaged in the interior life, as well as being the patron saint of those in authority, of fathers, priests, and those placed in charge over the poor and defenseless.

Saint Joseph, as the husband of Our Blessed Lady, is the one man in all the Church who was completely at the service of the Incarnation and Redemption. Both proceeded according to the divine plan through Joseph's cooperation. With no other saint, other than Mary, can one find such a remarkable vocation. During the childhood of the Incarnate Son, Joseph provided for His material needs, oversaw His upbringing, protected Him from danger, taught Him the fundamentals of the Jewish faith, and instructed Him in the trade of carpentry. Joseph was the one man in all of history chosen by the Almighty to lead the God-man Jesus Christ from a state of infancy to manhood, such that He would be prepared to undertake the redemption of the world. How astounding this is to contemplate! How immense a responsibility was placed on his shoulders; yet, as we can see from the hints left us in the scriptures, how generously and completely this man fulfilled his vocation. And the first of these hints to be considered is his divine calling to believe in the Son of God already present in the womb of Mary, his betrothed.

Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church and great apostle of devotion to Saint Joseph, is truly outstanding in explaining the manner in which we should pray to Joseph. She writes in the sixth chapter of her Autobiography:
I took the glorious Saint Joseph for my advocate and protector, and commended myself earnestly to him; and it was clearly he who both healed me of this sickness and delivered me from great dangers that threatened my good name and the salvation of my soul. His aid has brought me more good than I could ever hope for from him, I do not remember once having asked anything of him that was not granted...

God seems to have given other saints power to help us in particular circumstances, but I know from experience that this glorious Saint Joseph helps in each and every need. Our Lord would have us understand that, since on earth He was subject to this man who was called His father, whom as His guardian He had to obey, so now in heaven He still does all that Joseph asks. Others, who have turned to Joseph on my advice, have had the like experience; and today there are many people who honor him and keep on finding out the truth of what I say.

Let us imitate at this Holy Season of Lent  the purity, humility, the spirit of prayer and meditation of Joseph at Nazareth. Let us faithfully pray :

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God; and magnify Thee with due praise, bless and proclaim Thee blessed Joseph;
who, as a just man, was given by Thee to be the spouse of the Virgin Mother of God, and as a faithful and prudent servant, was set over Thy family, that with fatherly care he might guard Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions worship it, the powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts with the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while saying with lowly praise:
Holy , Holy , Holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.Amen

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