Daily Devotions to St. Joseph – By St. Alphonsus Liguori
According to Saint John Damascene: “God gave Saint Joseph the love, the care, and the authority of a father over Jesus. He gave him the affection of a father that he might guard Him with great love; the solicitude of a father, that he might watch over Him with care; and the authority of a father that he might feel sure that he would be obeyed in all that he arranged concerning this Son.” Saint Joseph, be always a father to us; and grant that we may be always your faithful children.
“Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” – St. Matthew l:20
Son of David, descendant of the Prophet King; of him who in vision beheld the eternal reign of the Messiah. Joseph, let the recollection of thy origin recall to thee the wondrous things that shall be effected in thy line! The prediction of thy ancestor is about to be accomplished in the womb of the Virgin of Jesse, co-descendant with thee of the line of David, the Holy Virgin whose fate is linked with thine! Fear not, thou son of David, to remain with thy spouse, Virgin Daughter of David’s royal line! Thou art worthy of her, and to thee is conﬁded that sacred deposit, the divine treasure of her virginity! True, it is by the operation of the Holy Ghost that she has become a mother, but she ceases not to be thy spouse. She and her Son are thine! An orphan here below, the Son of the Most High, and Mary’s Son needs an earthly father, this father thou shalt be, for it is thy right: Noli timers accipere Mariam conjugem tuam. Is anxiety at its climax, difficulty insuperable, do thou thy best. ‘Reflect, seek for a way to extricate thyself and then resolve: Haec autem eo cogitante; but act with calmness, like Joseph, in spite of anxiety, sleep thou in peace in the arms of a living Providence. The night of trial shall usher in a brilliant day. You fell asleep in sorrow, you shall awake in joy!
Saint Joseph and Saint Ignatius
Saint Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus, was ever mindful of Saint Joseph. In his “Exercises” he proposes the Saint to our consideration in relation to our Lord’s hidden life. In his oratory was an image of Saint Joseph, before which he loved to pray, and when any extraordinary difficulty occurred, it was on this spot that Saint Ignatius put it into writing, in order to obtain a happy solution.
Daily Devotion – Fifth Day
All the faithful should be devoted to Saint Joseph in order to obtain the grace of a good death, and this for three reasons.
Because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend, but as a father, and, therefore, his intercession is more powerful than that of the other saints.
Because Our Lord, in return for having saved Him from Herod, has given Saint Joseph the special privilege of protecting the dying against the snares of the devil.
Because Saint Joseph, who died in the company of Jesus and Mary, is the model of a holy death and can obtain this grace for his clients.
Saint Joseph, obtain for me that, like you, I may die in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
“ While Joseph thought on these things, be hold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep.” – St. Matthew 1:20
What honor for Saint Joseph thus to be deemed worthy of retaining her as spouse, who by the operation of the Holy Ghost, had become the Mother of God!
We must admit that he had, by his prudence and discretion, proved himself worthy of the high mission entrusted to him. In similar circumstances how many would by their precipitation have ruined all! Joseph is lord of his own mind and heart. He takes time to reﬂect : Haec autem eo cogitante. Let us think before we act, think before we speak, think even before pronouncing interiorly, especially when our neighbor’s honor is concerned. Let us wait for light from above, and when we have used all possible means, and applied all the resources of our mind and will, suddenly, and at the very moment when we least expect it, God will send His angel: Haec autem eo cogitante, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in sommis ei. During sleep, in the hours of night, at the moment when we end our research, or at the moment when all is dark around, light will appear, inspiration will arrive, and the Divine Will be declared.
Patronage of Saint Joseph
Saint Theresa relates that at the Feast of the Assumption Saint Joseph appeared and covered her with a mantle of brilliant whiteness, revealing to her at the same time, that she was justified from all her sins, and that he would obtain for her all the favors she desired. Saint Theresa had dedicated the greater part of her convents to Saint Joseph, but after her decease, some of these houses were placed under her protection. The saint appeared to one of the religious and gave her this strict order: Tell the Father Provincial to remove my name from the houses and restore to them that of Saint Joseph!
Daily Devotion To St. Joseph – Fourth Day
Saint Bernardine of Siena says that we should be persuaded that Our Lord, Who respected Saint Joseph on earth as His father, will refuse Him nothing in heaven; but on the contrary, will most abundantly grant His petitions. Jesus Himself advised Saint Margaret of Cortona to cherish a special devotion to Saint Joseph, and never to allow a day to pass without rendering some homage to him as His foster father. Let us not, then, fail to recommend ourselves each day to Saint Joseph and to ask him for graces. Saint Joseph, make me faithful in invoking you daily.
Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.” – St. Matthew I:19
The Holy Ghost proclaims Joseph a just man, and yet as being loth to accuse Mary; therefore the holy Patriarch must have been convinced of the perfect innocence of his angelic spouse, if not so, Joseph’s resolve would have been contrary to the law and therefore to justice also. Why, then, does Joseph meditate separation from Mary? It is doubtless that he deems himself unworthy of remaining with her in whom such mysteries were being enacted. What anxiety must not he have suffered in reconciling obedience to the law, with the respect due to the virtue of Mary? Admire the wisdom of this just man, who ﬁnds in withdrawing himself a way of conciliation. However strong the external evidence against our neighbor let us beware of judging him I reﬂect what regret it would have caused Saint Joseph had he allowed himself to judge according to appearances.
Do you wish to spare yourself and your brethren sorrow too often irreparable judge not your neighbor, speak not and act not against his interests, save in case of publicity, of certainty, or of necessity.
Saint Joseph and the Two Professors
During the time that Father Lallemand was rector of the college at Bourges, as the Feast of Saint Joseph drew near the Rev. Father sent for two young professors, and promised to obtain for them any grace they desired, provided that they would exhort their pupils to devotion towards Saint Joseph. The two religious gladly consented to the proposal, and their efforts were so successful that on the day of the Feast all their pupils received Holy Communion. The same day the two professors went to the rector, and each of them privately named the grace he desired. The ﬁrst, the eminent Father Nouet, entreated the privilege of speaking and writing worthily of our Savior. We do not know the favor desired by the other, we only know that it was obtained. As for Father Nouet, he, on the morrow of the Feast, returned to the rector, saying that he had changed his mind, as on reﬂection, he thought it his duty to ask for some grace more necessary to his own perfection. The rector replied that it was too late now, for Saint Joseph had already granted the favor at ﬁrst requested.
PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH
O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires. O Saint 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 Saint 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. Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, Pray for me. Amen.