Hello everyone, Happy Feast Day! Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph as the Husband of Mary. In addition to being the Chaste Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph is also: the Protector of the Universal Church, the Foster Father of Jesus, the Just Man, and the list goes on…. St. Joseph is the model man, father, husband, guardian and protector. He is chaste and just, prudent and brave, obedient and loyal. It is small wonder why St. Teresa of Avila O.C.D. encourages us to “celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph with the greatest solemnity possible” even though his feast always falls during Lent.
In keeping with my standing tradition of posting something late and brief, while it is still the Feast of St. Joseph (o.k. not quite anymore), I am just going to highlight three pivotal aspects of his life: St. Joseph as the Just Man, St. Joseph who silently and immediately obeys the will of God, St. Joseph as the Terror of Demons.
- St. Joseph as the Just Man. There are two singular virtues which are most misunderstood in this world today – justice and humility. St. Joseph embodies both, however for the purposes of this post I am going to focus chiefly on justice. Justice is sorely misconceived in the minds of many today. Public opinion wants us to believe that if someone is just, they are heavy-handed and intolerant of others. We are taught to believe that the “just” stand with their hands on the hilts of their “big-sticks” ready to cut down anyone whose opinions differ. This could not be further from the truth. To be just does not denote aggression, but rather it means simply to exercise wise and prudent judgment. St. Joseph is the Just Man because he wisely and prudently judged between the things of earth and the things of Heaven. St. Joseph was clear-cut in his judgment, like the stripes on a referee’s uniform – there are black stripes and there are white stripes – but no gray stripes. So it was with St. Joseph, he understood what was good and pleasing to God and what was evil and displeasing to God. That good which pleased God, he wholeheartedly carried out, while that which was evil and displeasing to God, he prudently avoided. This is the example which St. Joseph – as the Foster Father of Jesus, set for his foster Son, the Son of God.
- St. Joseph who silently and immediately obeys the will of God. Carefully read Sacred Scripture and try to count the recorded words of St. Joseph. I will give you the answer: “0.” St. Joseph is completely silent throughout the Scriptures. He verbally says nothing; however, his actions speak louder than words. Take for instance, when King Herod set out to destroy the newborn Baby Jesus. The Angel of the Lord came to St. Joseph and warned him, in a dream, to take Mary and the Baby and leave Israel and flee to Egypt – fast! Did he wait until morning to go down to the town and buy a few provisions before setting out? Did he convene with Mary and discuss travel plans? No, he set out immediately, and without saying a recorded word, under the cover of night, speedily transported Mary and Baby Jesus to the safety of the border.
- St. Joseph as the Terror of Demons. Alright, this one should be very interesting. This title for St. Joseph has often aroused my curiosity. Terror of Demons is the 22nd invocation in the Litany if St. Joseph and, though it is not found in Scripture, anyone with a clear head can deduce why St. Joseph was give this title. Forgive me for being blunt but, St. Joseph has to know a thing or two about how to kick the Devil’s butt. Think about for Whom St. Joseph was given the role of Foster Father. Contemplate how many times Our Lord drove out demons during His earthly ministry. We know demons do really exist. They are not merely symbolic of some amorphous evil. They are real entities who seek to destroy not only human souls, but the Church. St. Joseph is the Protector of the Universal Church and God would not give the charge of defending His Mystical Body to someone who is spineless and feeble. No, rather God gave this task to St. Joseph, the Terror of Demons. After all, who better to combat Satan – Pride Incarnate and Prince of Lies – then St. Joseph the Just Man – the humble, silent and loyal Servant of God.
So let us, on the feast of this powerful Saint, sincerely seek a place of refuge in the loving arms of St. Joseph and whenever we are tempted, turn to him and say:
“O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires.”
“O St. Joseph, 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 St. 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. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.”
– Prayer to St. Joseph over 1900 years old.