Tag Archives: St Joseph

Recommended to St Joseph

“To other Saints Our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity—but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, He has given the power to help us in all. Our Lord would have us understand that as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth—for St. Joseph, bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him—so now in Heaven Our Lord grants all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they, too, know the same thing by experience . . .”

Saint Teresa of Avila
Autobiography, VI, 9

St Joseph guided St Teresa of Avila

“I took for my patron and lord the glorious St. Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly that both out of this my present trouble, and out of others of greater importance, relating to my honor and the loss of my soul, this my father and lord delivered me, and rendered me greater services than I knew how to ask for. I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors which God has given me through this blessed Saint; the dangers from which he has delivered me, both of body and of soul.”

Saint Teresa of Avila
Autobiography, VI, 9

Saint Joseph

gettoknowjoseph-1014x487Saint Joseph’s a prime example of what it means to be self-giving and faithful in one’s love. His feast today, is a good opportunity each of us to renew our commitment to the Christian calling God has given each of us. Consider praying on the theological virtues of faith, hope, love: these are the supports of Saint Joseph’s life and of all Christian lives.

O Glorious St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong,
so prompt before the Throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession
and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord;
so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power
I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage
to the most Loving of Fathers.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me,
and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls,
pray for us, through Christ Our LORD. Amen.

Saint Joseph…a contemplative of pure love

St Joseph“… the apparent tension between the active and the contemplative life finds an ideal harmony that is only possible for those who possess the perfection of charity. Following St. Augustine’s well-known distinction between the love of the truth and the practical demands of love, we can say that Joseph experienced both love of the truth-that pure contemplative love of the divine Truth which radiated from the humanity of Christ-and the demands of love-that equally pure and selfless love required for his vocation to safeguard and develop the humanity of Jesus, which was inseparably linked to his divinity.”

Blessed John Paul II
Guardian of the Redeemer

Saint Joseph: participator in Mary’s dignity

Go to JosephThe Catholic devotion to Saint Joseph is strong and vital, and it is has been for centuries. You will see the phrase, “Ite ad Joseph” at the Saint Joseph shrine or altar. In fact, over the head of Joseph in this image you see the scroll with just that: Ite ad Joseph. The beloved spouse of Mary, since 1870, has been the Patron of the Church, named so by Pope Pius IX. In biblical typology of the OT Saint Joseph is prefigured by an earlier Joseph who is the protector of Israel.

Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam pluries, speaks of Saint Joseph an “exemplary model of kindness and humility.” Such are the virtues that we expect all Christians to possess and develop: this is especially true for fathers, parents, priests, educators, and the like. As the spouse of Mary and earthly father of Jesus we come to understand Joseph as a “participator in her [Mary’s] sublime dignity.” Leo develops in a new way a theology of Joseph in looking at his chaste spousal relationship to Mary by describing him for us when he says that Joseph was “closer than any” other person.

Leo also designated Saint Joseph to be the universal patron of the Church.

One aspect of Saint Joseph that’s not well spoken of but was raised by Pope Leo is Joseph as protector, guide, patron of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Considering biblical typology with regard to Joseph we see the Spouse of Mary as connected with, that is, echoing, Joseph of Egypt found earlier in the OT and as the earthly father of Jesus he is custodian of holiness. This man of righteousness we say exercised significant overseeing of Jesus is the “true bread come down from heaven.” Hence, Joseph’s role as guardian of the Holy Child, it is not unrealistic to consider as crucial to the life of both the ministerial AND lay priesthood. What is seen in Joseph is now seen in the our priestly life. Catholics distinguish the two priesthoods, one serving the other in a unique manner all oriented to salvation in Christ Jesus.

Just as Joseph attended to his family and daily work, he also was attentive to life of prayer and sacrifice given to him through the Torah (the Law of Moses). It is fitting to see these things held in creative tension but likely with an accent on prayer. All the things we say that Joseph could have done that would be opposite to having concern for Mary and Jesus were actually fulfilled because the Holy Spirit was such a powerful presence in Joseph. Without this Divine Presence Joseph would have collapsed under the weight of self-absorption. The intense friendship (that is, obedience) with the Divine Majesty allowed for his earthly love to taken on a new dynamism for all of history. One might say, like we ascribe to Mary, that Joseph was the second disciple of Jesus. Yet, he is the first to experience this discipleship in an unrepeatable way as being that close to the dignity of Mother and Son.

One last point of salvation history, Joseph is a fitting patron of the priesthood because he was the spouse of Mary, and that the report of Fatima is that he was with Mary then, leading up to these last days in the Lord.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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