MONTH OF MARCH DEDICATED TO SAINT JOSEPH
The earliest records of a formal devotional following for Saint Joseph date to the year 800 and references to him as nutritor Domini (educator/guardian of the Lord) began to appear in the 9th century, and continued growing to the 14th century. Saint Thomas Aquinas discussed the necessity of the presence of Saint Joseph in the plan of the Incarnation, for if Mary had not been married, the Jews would have stoned her and that in his youth Jesus needed the care and protection of a human father.
In the 15th century, major steps were taken by Saint Bernardine of Siena, Pierre d’Ailly and Jean Gerson. Gerson wrote Consideration sur Saint Joseph and preached sermons on Saint Joseph at the Council of Constance.
In 1889 Pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical ‘Quamquam pluries’ in which he urged Catholics to pray to Saint Joseph, as the patron of the Church in view of the challenges facing the Church.
Prayers and Daily Meditations In Honor of St. Joseph.
“And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ.”
St. Matthew 1:16
Descendant of the kings of Judah, Spouse of the Mother of God, foster-father of Jesus, representative also of the Eternal Father, Joseph holds, next to Mary, the highest rank to which a mere creature can be exalted; and such a man is passed unnoticed. No trait is cited, no word uttered, that can win him a place in the annals of the world. He is named but in conjunction with Jesus and Mary, and that only so far as their interests require. How vain all earthly glory! Much is said of those who desire but oblivion, and true merit remains ignored. Let the world despise us, its contempt pass unheeded, and, far from feeling surprise, let us rejoice at being overlooked. The world has forgotten so many! We will repay oblivion by oblivion!
Saint Joseph’s Place in Heaven. An artist was commissioned by Pius IX, to paint a picture of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. When the sketch was submitted for approval, the sovereign pontiff, looking at it, exclaimed: “And Saint Joseph, where is he??” The artist pointed to a group lost in the clouds, replying: “That is the spot I reserve for him.” “No,” replied the Holy Father, pointing to a place at our Savior’s side; “ there, and only there, must he be placed; for surely that is his post in heaven.”
“And in the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary.”
– St. Luke 1: 26, 27
This son of David, the descendant of kings, is in the world’s sight nought but a simple workman, obliged to gain his bread by the sweat of his brow. When God proposes working out some grand design, He renders lowly all the surroundings of the person whose greatness He intends to manifest. That master piece of the Divine Wisdom, Power and Love, the Incarnation, was to be divested of all earthly splendor; therefore, during three hundred years the house of David was lost sight of among the other families of Judah. Zerubbabel is the last king who plays any part in history. The branch to which Joseph belonged fell into indigence, and as there is nothing so efficacious as poverty to ensure the world’s neglect, Joseph was in a ﬁt position to be associated in the Divine work. When God abases and humbles you; when He deprives you of the means of action, of the elements of success; when He appears to frustrate and annihilate your every effort, do not be alarmed. In this very way He is about to effect, by you and in you, some great work. Men despise, or worse still, they forget you, and know you no more. This is the moment awaited by God. Now, will the Divine Power (such is the meaning of the name Gabriel) descend to visit you, and, as Mary and Joseph of old, so you too are about to be summoned to concur in the carrying on of the Divine work, in the development of the Incarnation, in the perfecting of the mysterious Body of Christ, in the extension of the Church, and the reign of Jesus.
Devotion to Saint Joseph counseled by our Lady
Father P. Balthazar Alvarez being sick, a religious presented him with an image of Saint Joseph, exhorting him to commend himself to the holy Patriarch. “You are right,” replied the Father; “that is precisely what the Blessed Virgin counseled me to do.” On hearing these words, a brother who had accompanied Father Alvarez in his journey to Rome, remembered that on quitting the Holy House of Loretto, the Father told him that he had just experienced a deep feeling of devotion to Saint Joseph. It is possible that was the moment when Our Lady exhorted the Father to conﬁdence in her Holy Spouse.
Go to St. Joseph
A prayer to St. Joseph
“O holy Patriarch, I rejoice with thee at thy exalted dignity, by which thou wert deemed worthy to act as father to Jesus, to give Him orders, and to be obeyed by Him, whom heaven and earth obey. O great Saint, as thou wert served by a God, I too wish to be taken into thy service. I choose thee after Mary, to be my chief advocate and protector. I promise to honour thee every day by some special act of devotion, and by placing myself daily under thy protection. By that sweet company, which Jesus and Mary gave thee in thy lifetime, protect me all the days of my life, so that I may never separate from my God by losing His grace. My dear St. Joseph pray to Jesus for me. Certainly He can never refuse thee any thing as He obeyed all thy orders on earth.
St. Alphonsus Liguori