Re: Devotion to Saint Joseph
As you know, March is the month in which Holy Mother Church honors St. Joseph, the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Other than the Blessed Virgin Mary, he is the only saint to have a month dedicated in his honor by the Church.
His feast day is March 19. On this day, he is commemorated as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Besides this feast day, he is again honored on May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Workman, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This great saint not only has an entire month and two feast days honoring him, he is also honored by Holy Mother Church on Wednesdays throughout the calendar year, which are dedicated to him.
St. Joseph was descended from the royal house of David. He is the just man of the New Testament, the lowly village carpenter of Nazareth, who, among all the men of the world, was the one chosen by God to be the spouse and protector of the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate.
He was poor and obscure in possessions and honors of the world, but was rich in grace and merit, and today is eminent among all men in the nobility and beauty of holiness. To his faithful, loving care was entrusted the childhood and youth of the Redeemer of the world.
After the Mother of God, not one of the children of men was ever so gifted and adorned with natural and supernatural virtues as was St. Joseph, Her spouse. In purity of heart, in chastity of life, in humility, patience, fortitude, gentleness and manliness of character, he reveals to us the perfect type and model of the true Catholic.
God indeed caused the virtues and singular merit of St. Joseph to shine with great splendor when He said to him through the words of the angel, Take the Child and His Mother... In these words, God committed to St. Joseph His most precious treasures, thereby giving to St. Joseph the preference over all the blessed spirits of Heaven; and St. Joseph received these two sacred persons into his care, to be Their protector, Their guardian, and defender.
Just as Heaven made St. Joseph the protector of Jesus and Mary, likewise, he was at the same time made the protector and patron of all men.
When Our Lord, from the cross, said to the Blessed Virgin Woman behold Thy son (indicating St. John), the Church teaches that we were all entrusted to His Mother in the person of the beloved disciple. So also when the Eternal Father confided the Incarnate Word and His Mother to St. Joseph, He confided us all to this great saint.
Therefore, devotion to St. Joseph is our duty, and because this devotion is the desire of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, it cannot be knowingly disregarded without irreverence to Them as well as great spiritual detriment to ourselves.
We can say this because we know that the desire of our Saviour is that we should all imitate Him perfectly. By imitating Our Lord, we give God great glory and honor, and such imitation is efficacious for our eternal salvation. Our Lord lived perfectly the commandment and precept Honor thy father. He served His father St. Joseph with great devotion and love.
Therefore, when our Saviour expresses His earnest desire that we should imitate Him, He at the same time manifests His wish that we should love and reverence St. Joseph. It could be a great offense to Our Lord, if the members of His Mystical Body did not honor him to whom their Head paid such profound submission.
This desire of Our Lord is based on His justice and His gratitude. It is certain that Our Lord wills that His saints should be venerated on earth in recompense of their merits. He glorifies them both before and after their death, giving them power to work miracles, defending them when unjustly accused, and promising, to those who for His sake despised worldly goods, a reward a hundredfold greater both now while on earth as well as in eternal life.
Gods justice is in accord with the proportion and degree of those merits. God bestows the highest honors upon those who merit the most. With the exception of the Blessed Virgin, Whose merit is greater than the combined merit of all the saints, there is no saint who has merit equal to that of St. Joseph.
St. Joseph was faithful in his duties as a tender father and guardian of Jesus. In addition to this, St. Joseph, according to St. Bernard, was united with the Saviour in the quality of a coadjutor, whom God gave to His Son as His associate in the most magnificent of all His works, the redemption of men. Although St. Joseph had no share in the formation of the Body of Jesus, nor in placing the crown on His head, nonetheless he contributed to making Him the Saviour of all men, journeying and laboring and toiling along with Him, and supporting Him by the fruit of his toils for so many years.
St. Albert the Great called St. Joseph the support of the whole human race, because in taking charge of the bringing-up of Jesus Christ, he contributed much to the salvation of men. To Him he devoted the best years of his life; for Him he renounced every personal satisfaction, and even every personal thought, in order to aid in bringing about this one event, the reparation of lost man, and opening to sinners the way of eternal life.
Thus, the justice of Jesus requires that St. Joseph should be honored by us, not from justice only, but from gratitude.
Just as Her Divine Son desires us to honor and venerate St. Joseph, likewis so does our Heavenly Mother Mary desire that we devoutly venerate Her spouse. To manifest Her own love for St. Joseph and procure for him a greater number of devout clients, as well as to make known Her gratitude to those who were devout to him, Our Lady has frequently appeared with him.
Many of these appearances were to individuals on their deathbed, but one of the best known of these appearances was publicly at Fatima, on the sixth apparition to Lucy, Francisco and Jacinta. Our Lady had told the 3 children on September 13, 1917 that in October, She would return and that St. Joseph would also come with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world.
True to Her promise, on October 13, 1917, the day of the Miracle of the Sun, St. Joseph also came, holding the Divine Infant, and They blessed the world. It has been said of St. Joseph, the sound of Our Ladys impending triumph will be heard when the faithful recognize the sanctity of St. Joseph.
St. Joseph was the representative of the Eternal Father on earth, the divinely appointed head of the Holy Family, which was the beginning of the great Family of God, the Catholic Church. Because of this, on December 8, 1870, Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church.
In this month of St. Joseph, help us give God glory and honor by spreading devotion to the foster father of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
To honor him and help promote devotion to him, we have printed a new prayer card. On the back of the prayer card is a prayer that is more than 1900 years old and has great promises attached to the recitation of it. It is also most efficacious in obtaining favors through the intercession of St. Joseph, as is all devotion to this saint.
Here is a story as related by one of our volunteers, regarding one womans devotion and request for assistance from St. Joseph. She tells the story of her friend Virginia, an elderly woman with 4 grown sons, all of them married and some with children and grandchildren.
Virginia is a lovely lady who has 4 wonderful sons. After meeting her sons, I noticed something about these 4 men that I couldnt identify at first. They werent just nice, and very attentive to their mother, there was something else, and it took me a while to pinpoint it.
One day after I had seen one of her sons visiting with her, St. Joseph popped into my head and I immediately realized thats what it was that I was trying to identify. These 4 sons of hers and their gentle, yet masculine ways made me think of St. Joseph.
One day after I had gotten to know Virginia better, she was telling me some of her past. Her youngest son was then nearly 50 years old. It was just before he was born, that her husband left her and never returned again. It was shortly after WWII and she needed to find a means of supporting them. Except for some initial help from her parents, she raised and supported these 4 boys alone.
She would go off to work, and the 3 oldest boys would go to school while a neighbor watched the youngest (7 years difference in age between the oldest and the youngest). After school, the 3 oldest would be alone playing in the yard for a short time until she returned home from work, meanwhile her neighbor would watch from the window periodically to make sure they were alright.
When her boys were a little older (the oldest was about 14 years), the 3 oldest began hanging around with the wrong crowd and taking off to places they werent supposed to go.
Virginia was having some problems controlling them and with the appeal that only a mother can make, she turned to St. Joseph telling him that her boys have no father to help them out and guide them. She then asked St. Joseph to be their foster father. And in the words of Virginia, from that time on they were very good and she had no more problems with them hanging around with bad companions and going to places they were not supposed to be.
Our volunteer related that when Virginia told her that story, she was absolutely amazed and then understood why she would think of St. Joseph whenever she saw Virginias sons. Virginia had no idea that our volunteer thought of St. Joseph when she saw her sons.
For more copies of this prayer card, please call us at 1-800-845-3047 or return the enclosed reply form.
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
P.S.Enclosed is a newly printed flyer promoting the book The Devils Final Battle. Please help us to promote this book by distributing more copies of the enclosed flyer. For extra flyers call us at the above phone number or return the enclosed reply form.
P.P.S.In January, you and our other volunteers distributed 84,002 pieces of literature, and 19,551 sacramentals; and made 1,943 Rosaries and 11,780 Green Scapulars.