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Catholic Life | Tag Archive | Saint Joseph
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Pope Benedict on the Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Virgin Mary

Taken from the 2009 homily for the Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Virgin Mary, given in Yaoundé Cameroon.

How can we enter into the specific grace of this day? In a little while, at the end of Mass, the liturgy will remind us of the focal point of our meditation when it has us pray: “Lord, today you nourish us at this altar as we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph. Protect your Church always, and in your love watch over the gifts you have given us.” We are asking the Lord to protect the Church always – and he does! – just as Joseph protected his family and kept watch over the child Jesus during his early years.

Our Gospel reading recalls this for us. The angel said to Joseph: “Do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home,” (Mt 1:20) and that is precisely what he did: “he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him” (Mt 1:24). Why was Saint Matthew so keen to note Joseph’s trust in the words received from the messenger of God, if not to invite us to imitate this same loving trust?

Joseph trusts God when he hears his messenger, the Angel, say to him: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her” (Mt 1:20). Throughout all of history, Joseph is the man who gives God the greatest display of trust, even in the face of such astonishing news.

Dear fathers and mothers here today, do you have trust in God who has called you to be the fathers and mothers of his adopted children? Do you accept that God is counting on you to pass on to your children the human and spiritual values that you yourselves have received and which will prepare them to live with love and respect for God’s holy name? At a time when so many people have no qualms about trying to impose the tyranny of materialism, with scant concern for the most deprived, you must be very careful.

Do not let yourselves be captivated by selfish illusions and false ideals! Believe – yes! – continue to believe in God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – God alone truly loves you in the way you yearn to be loved, God alone can satisfy you, can bring stability to your lives. Only Christ is the way of Life.

God alone could grant Joseph the strength to trust the Angel. God alone will give you, dear married couples, the strength to raise your family as he wants. Ask it of him! God loves to be asked for what he wishes to give. Ask God for the grace of a true and ever more faithful love patterned after his own. As the Psalm magnificently puts it: God’s “love is established for ever, his loyalty will stand as long as the heavens” (Ps 88:3).

The first priority will consist in restoring a sense of the acceptance of life as a gift from God. According to both Sacred Scripture and the wisest traditions of Africa, the arrival of a child is always a gift, a blessing from God. Today it is high time to place greater emphasis on this: every human being, every tiny human person, however weak, is created “in the image and likeness of God” (Gen 1:27). Every person must live! Death must not prevail over life! Death will never have the last word!

“Hoping against hope”: is this not a magnificent description of a Christian? Africa is called to hope through you and in you! Each and every one of us was thought, willed and loved by God. Each and every one of us has a role to play in the plan of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If discouragement overwhelms you, think of the faith of Joseph; if anxiety has its grip on you, think of the hope of Joseph, who hoped against hope; if exasperation or hatred seizes you, think of the love of Joseph, who was the first man to set eyes on the human face of God in the person of the Infant conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Let us praise and thank Christ for having drawn so close to us, and for giving us Joseph as an example and model of love for him.

Dear brothers and sisters, I want to say to you once more from the bottom of my heart: like Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary into your home, that is to say do not be afraid to love the Church. Mary, Mother of the Church, will teach you to follow your pastors, to love your bishops, your priests, your deacons and your catechists; to heed what they teach you and to pray for their intentions. Husbands, look upon the love of Joseph for Mary and Jesus; those preparing for marriage, treat your future spouse as Joseph did; those of you who have given yourselves to God in celibacy, reflect upon the teaching of the Church, our Mother: “Virginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God not only does not contradict the dignity of marriage but presupposes and confirms it. Marriage and virginity are two ways of expressing and living the one mystery of the Covenant of God with his people” (Redemptoris Custos, 20).

Once more, I wish to extend a particular word of encouragement to fathers so that they may take Saint Joseph as their model. He who kept watch over the Son of Man is able to teach them the deepest meaning of their own fatherhood. In the same way, each father receives his children from God, and they are created in God’s own image and likeness. Saint Joseph was the spouse of Mary. In the same way, each father sees himself entrusted with the mystery of womanhood through his own wife. Dear fathers, like Saint Joseph, respect and love your spouse; and by your love and your wise presence, lead your children to God where they must be (cf. Lk 2:49).

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John Paul II on Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Guardian of the Redeemer

1. “Here is the wise and faithful servant, whom the Lord has put in charge of his household” (cf. Lk 12: 42).

This is how today’s liturgy presents St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Guardian of the Redeemer. He was the wise and faithful servant who, with obedient docility, accepted the will of the Lord, who entrusted him with “his” family on earth to watch over it with daily devotion.

St Joseph persevered in this mission with fidelity and love. The Church, therefore, offers him to us as an exceptional model of service to Christ and to his mysterious plan of salvation. And she calls upon him as the special patron and protector of the whole family of believers. In a special way, Joseph is presented to us on his feast day as the saint under whose powerful protection divine Providence has wished to place the persons and ministry of all who are called to be “fathers” and“guardians” among the Christian people.

2. “”Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously’…. “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?‘” (Lk 2: 48-49).

In this simple, family conversation between Mother and Son, which we heard a few moments ago in the Gospel, we find the characteristics of Joseph’s holiness. They correspond to God’s plan for him, which he, being the just man that he was, would fulfil with marvellous fidelity.

“Your father and I have been looking for you anxiously“, Mary said. “I must be in my Father’s house“, Jesus replies. It is precisely these words of the Son that help us to understand the mystery of Joseph’s “fatherhood“. In reminding his parents of the primacy of the One whom he called “my Father”, Jesus reveals the truth about Mary’s and Joseph’s role. The latter was truly Mary’s “husband” and Jesus’ “father”, as she affirmed when she said:  “Your father and I have been looking for you”. But his being a husband and father is totally subordinate to that of God.

This is how Joseph of Nazareth was called, in turn, to become one of Jesus’ disciples:  by dedicating his life to serving the only-begotten Son of the Father and of his Virgin Mother, Mary.

It is a mission that he continues to carry out for the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, to which he never fails to give his provident care, as he did for the humble family of Nazareth.

Monday, 19 March 2001

 

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Saint Teresa of Avila on Devotion to Saint Joseph

I only beg, for the love of God, that anyone who does not believe me will put what I say to the test, and she will see by experience what great advantages come from her commending herself to this glorious patriarch and having devotion to him. Those who practice prayer should have a special affection for him always. I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of the Angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for the way he helped them. If anyone cannot find a master to teach her how to pray, let her take this glorious saint as her master and she will not go astray.

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Saint Josemaría on Devotion to Saint Joseph

I almost posted this without commentary as an act of penance, but I am also working on being less confusing for the poor souls who stagger by my blog expecting it to be normal.

Saint Josemaría is, in fact, a Saint. Yes, some of his devotees are significantly less than Christlike. But good should be appreciated, regardless of how much evil surrounds it. Just like evil should be eliminated, no matter how much good surrounds it.

That said, enjoy this clip. It is good.

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Litany to Saint Joseph

I already posted a litany to Saint Joseph, but this is too lovely to not share.

From Echoes of Ephesus

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Saint Joseph: Novena for a Special Need

Glorious Saint Joseph, tenderhearted father, faithful guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Mother of God, I ask you to join with me in praising God the Father through his divine Son who died on the cross and rose again to give us sinners new life. Through the holy name of Jesus, pray with me that we may obtain from the eternal Father the favor we ask. (Here state your intention.)

Taken from Saint Joseph Prayers and Devotions

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Saint Joseph: A Hidden Life

Fr. James Martin, S.J. explains why you should care about Joseph.

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Joseph, Exemplar of Betrothed Love

Guardian and foster-father of the Christ,
Honor to you, so chosen by our God!
Husband of Virgin Mary, you are first
To show us Christian love.

From a hymn by Stephen Somerville

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Saint Joseph, Patron of Travelers

Many thanks to Father Charles for today’s prayer to Saint Joseph.

St. Joseph, by your diligent care you safely brought the Holy Family back and forth to Egypt and saved the child Jesus from the danger which threatened his life.

By your prayers to God today, bring me safely on this journey. [And pray for me, St. Joseph, that I may work honestly and diligently, in imitation of you.]

Pray for me St. Joseph, my patron, for safe travel [and for honest work] in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

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Hail Holy Joseph

Hail Holy Joseph, chosen by God to be the spouse of Mary and foster father of Jesus. Blessed are you, Holy Joseph, for the Lord is with you. Pray for us who call on you, and help us to overcome evil and do good. Imitating your example, may we become obedient and compassionate. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary and protector of the Son of God, pray for us now and at our last hour. Amen

Taken from Saint Joseph Prayers and Devotions

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