SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
St. Joseph, the man who was chosen by God to be the foster-father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spouse of Our Lady, in spite of his silence and hidden presence — nowhere in the Gospels we can find him talk— is THE GREATEST SAINT AFTER THE VIRGIN MARY.
HIS GREATNESS PRECISELY RESIDES IN THE FACT THAT HE WAS THE PERSON WHO LOVED JESUS AND OUR LADY MOST THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE. He gave them his life, his love, his virile tenderness and care; he protected them with his strong arms, he gave them all of himself and all that he could without reserve.
A man with a firm faith in God coupled with a resilient personality, who did not complain and was not appalled nor distressed in the midst of trials and tribulations, St. Joseph knew how to face, carry and solve the burden of his vocation, of life’s difficulties and responsibilities with serenity, with complete faith and love, entrusting himself totally and unconditionally to God’s plans.
He is the patron of fathers, spouses, priests and seminarians. But above all, St. Joseph is the “Master of Interior Life” who is willing to teach us by his silent example how to love God faithfully and tenderly, and Our Lady as well.
“Love Saint Joseph a lot. Love him with all your soul, because he, together with Jesus, is the person who has most loved our Blessed Lady and been closest to God. He is the person who has most loved God, after our Mother.
He deserves your affection, and it will do you good to get to know him, because he is the Master of the interior life, and has great power before the Lord and before the Mother of God (St. Josemaria, “Forge”, n. 554).”
Dear friends, “Joseph’s self-giving is an interweaving of faithful love, loving faith and confident hope. His feast is thus a good opportunity for us to renew our commitment to the Christian calling God has given each of us (St. Josemaria, “Christ is Passing By”, n. 43).”
To you, St. Joseph, we entrust our vocation and our interior life so that with your help, we may learn to love Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary the way you did while on earth.
We pray to God through your powerful intercession for all the fathers and spouses in the world so that they may imitate you in your faith, love and fidelity to God and your family.
We entrust to you as well all the families in the world so that they may imitate the virtues lived by the Holy Family of Nazareth and become its faithful image.
Through your intercession, may God shower more vocations to His Church, especially the vocation to priesthood, and may all priests and future priests strive be holy, faithful and apostolic ministers of Christ.
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH (Pope Leo XIII)
To thee, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we seek with confidence thy patronage also. By that affection wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God; by the fatherly love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech thee to look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased for us by His Blood, and to help us in our need by thy powerful intercession.
Defend, O thou most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen offspring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, O thou our most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, so that imitating thy example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.
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SUGGESTED HOMILY FOR PERSONAL MEDITATION: St. Josemaría, “In St. Joseph’s Workshop”, in http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/christ_is_passing_by-chapter-5.htm