Glorioso San José, under your patronage may my interior life grow and develop.
In your school, O glorious St. Joseph, I desire to learn how to live by faith, guided in all things by divine Providence.
Today the Church presents St. Joseph, the great Patriarch, to whose care God willed to entrust the most chosen portion of His flock, Mary and Jesus. Because Joseph was selected by God to be the guardian of the family of Nazareth, the nucleus of the great Christian family, the Church recognizes in him the Guardian and Patron of all Christendom. Herein lies the significance of today’s Feast, which invites us to fix our attention on the mission entrusted to this great Saint in relation to Jesus and to the Church.
Aware of the great mystery of the Incarnation, Joseph’s whole life gravitated about that of the Incarnate Word: for Him he endured worry, suffering, fatigue, labor. To Him he consecrated all his solicitude, his energy, his resources, his time. He reserved nothing for himself, but completely oblivious of any personal needs, desires, or views, he devoted himself entirely to the interests and the needs of Jesus. Nothing existed for Joseph except Jesus and Mary, and he felt that his life on earth had no other raison d’être than his care for them. In this way he participated fully, as a humble, hidden collaborator, in the work of Redemption; if he did not accompany Jesus in His apostolic life and to His death on the Cross—as Mary did—nevertheless, he worked for the same end as the Savior.
Having been the faithful guardian of the Holy Family, it is impossible that from the heights of heaven St. Joseph should not continue to protect the great Christian family, the universal Church, which, confident of his protection, and relying on his assistance, prays thus: “Sustained, O Lord, by the protection of the spouse of Your holy Mother, we beseech Your clemency … that by his merits and intercession You will guide us to eternal glory” (RM).
Saint Joseph and the Child, Jesus ~ art by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682)
St. Teresa of Avila Devotion to Saint Joseph:
Due to St. Teresa’s devotion to and trust in St. Joseph’s loving care for her intentions and the needs of the reform, Discalced Carmelites regard St. Joseph as a Protector of the Order and a master of prayer…
“O St. Joseph, how much I love you! How much good it does me to think of your humble, simple life! Like us, you lived by faith. I contemplate you in the little house at Nazareth, near Jesus and Mary, busy working for them. I see you using the plane, and then wiping your forehead from time to time, and hurrying to finish the work on time for your customers. Although you lived with the Son of God, your life was very ordinary, for Jesus certainly did not perform any useless miracles. Everything in your life was just as it is in ours. And how many sorrows, fatigues and dangers! Oh! how astonished we should be if we knew all that you suffered!” (cf. T.C.J. C, – NV).
“I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of Angels during the time that she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to you, O glorious St. Joseph, for the way you helped them. For this reason it seems to me that those who practice prayer should have a special affection for you always.
“I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to you, for I have great experience of the blessings which you obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to you and render you particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for you give very real help to souls who commend themselves to you. I have clearly seen that your help has always been greater than I could have hoped for. I do not remember that I have ever asked anything of you which you failed to grant. The Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to you on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, you could command Him), just so in Heaven He still does all that you ask” (cf. T.J. Life, 6).
O dear St. Joseph, I place myself, then, with full confidence under your protection. teach me to live as you did, in faith and abandonment to God; teach me to live solely for Him, by consecrating myself entirely to His service.
~ A Meditation by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. ~ Divine Intimacy
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, going down to Nazareth, art by William Charles Thomas Dobson (1817-1898)
Wishing you all a very blessed Feast day of Saint Joseph!