Monday, August 29, 2011

A Priest's Tribute to St. Joseph, Patron of Family Life

From the Mail is pleased to have among its readers an ancient Dominican in New York, and this venerable religious sent a note on St. Joseph, which FTM considers worth sharing...

"I am the youngest of ten children in an Irish immigrant family.  Of the six who survived childhood, there are three religious and three married. 

"I remember, well over 80 years ago, my holy mother obtaining fresh, new (every year) St. Joseph cords from the Homeless Child Home on Staten Island.  We wore these blessed cords around our waist every day.  My mother had a great devotion to St. Joseph.  She saw two of her boys survive World War I, and one crossed the ocean in 20 round-trips with the Navy.  Her husband was a firefighter for 45 years, without ever suffering an injury.  She saw two sons become priests, and one daughter a nun, and two sons become Knights of St. Gregory.  My mother dropped dead as she was making the stations of the Cross at the ninth station, Jesus falls the third time.  She has 100 priests at her funeral...

"I urge all to have devotion to St. Joseph, Patron of Family Life, Patron of Working People, Patron of a Happy Death, Patron of the Universal Church.  He proved it in our family."

~  From The Wanderer, May 6, 1993 issue; From the Mail column excerpt ~

Monday, May 16, 2011

St. Teresa of Avila: Advantages of Devotion to Saint Joseph

"I took for my advocate and lord the glorious Saint Joseph and commended myself earnestly to him; and I found that this my father and lord delivered me both from this trouble and also from other and greater troubles concerning my honor and the loss of my soul, and that he gave me greater blessings than I could ask of him. I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors which God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which He has freed me, both in body and in soul. To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succor us in some of our necessities but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succors us in them all and that the Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to him on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, he could command Him) just so in Heaven He still does all that he asks. This has also been the experience of other persons whom I have advised to commend themselves to him; and even to-day there are many who have great devotion to him through having newly experienced this truth."

"I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good."

"I only beg, for the love of God, that anyone who does not believe me will put what I say to the test, and he will see by experience what great advantages come from his commending himself to this glorious patriarch and having devotion to him. Those who practice prayer should have a special affection for him always. I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of the Angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for the way he helped them. If anyone cannot find a master to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint as his master and he will not go astray."

~ St. Teresa of  Avila; excerpt from The Autobiography of St. Teresa ~

(Printed words on video are easier to read in full screen mode)

St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and patron of departing souls and of the universal church, pray for us!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Special Privileges of St. Joseph and His Powerful Intercession

"...I have been informed concerning certain other privileges conferred upon Saint Joseph by the Most High on account of his great holiness, which are especially important to those who ask his intercession in a proper manner. In virtue of these special privileges the intercession of Saint Joseph is most powerful: first, for attaining the virtue of purity and overcoming the sensual inclinations of the flesh; secondly, for procuring powerful help to escape sin and return to the friendship of God; thirdly, for increasing the love and devotion to most holy Mary; fourthly, for securing the grace of a happy death and protection against the demons in that hour; fifthly, for inspiring the demons with terror at the mere mention of his name by his clients; sixthly, for gaining health of body and assistance in all kinds of difficulties; seventhly, for securing issue of children in families. These and many other favors God confers upon those who properly and with good disposition seek the intercession of the spouse of our Queen, Saint Joseph. I beseech all the faithful children of the Church to be very devout to him and they will experience these favors in reality, if they dispose themselves as they should in order to receive and merit them."

~ Venerable Mary of Agreda; excerpt from The Mystical City of God ~

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

St. Josemaria Escriva: "Have a great devotion to St. Joseph."

"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 Escriva; excerpt from The Forge, 554 ~ 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

St. Teresa of Avila: Prayers to Saint Joseph

“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . .

" I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him.”

~ St. Teresa of Avila ~

Friday, March 25, 2011

St. Joseph: Predestined to Be Guardian and Protector of Jesus and Mary

...And the mode and order predestined by God in the Incarnation of His Divine Son was this: that the Most Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ was to be taken, but without sin, from that same human nature which had sinned in Adam; that It was to descend from the blood of Abraham, to be of the tribe of Juda and the race of David, and that the Body of Jesus was to be formed by the power of the Holy Ghost in the pure womb of an immaculate virgin. This elect virgin is Mary; and therefore Mary, after Jesus, was immediately comprised in the decree of the Divine Incarnation, and from eternity predestined to be the most august Mother of the Son of God....

But, in order to conceal this mystery of love from the world until the appointed time had come, and to safeguard at the same time the reputation of the Virgin Mother and the honour of the Divine Son, God willed that Mary by a marriage altogether heavenly should be espoused to the humblest, the purest, and the holiest of the royal race of David, one therefore expressly predestined for this end; a virgin spouse for the Virgin Mother, who at the same time should be in the place of a father to the Divine Son. In the Divine mind Joseph was the one chosen from amongst all others. Joseph held the first place. Joseph was predestined to this office. True, from the tribe of Juda, from the family of David, great patriarchs were to arise, famous leaders of the people, most noble kings; but God did not choose any of these. He chose Joseph alone. Joseph was the beloved one. Joseph was specially preordained to become one day the happy spouse of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus....

Thus Joseph was, after Mary, comprehended in the very decree of the Incarnation, and, after Mary, was called to have an integral part, as it were, in this ineffable mystery. It is easy to perceive how much honour hence redounds to Joseph; for if, next to the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, the mystery of the Divine Incarnation is the essential foundation of the Christian faith, who can fail to see that to be included in the eternal decree of so admirable a mystery, into which the angels themselves "desire to look," is an incomparable glory to this great saint? We must always, therefore, bear well in mind this singular destination of Joseph, because this is truly the ground of all his greatness. This is the basis upon which all his glories are raised. Whoever thoroughly realises the fact of this preordination will no longer marvel at God's predilection for Joseph, and at seeing him so highly privileged and exalted to be the guardian and patron of the Universal Church.

~ Excerpt from The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph by Edward Healy Thompson, M.A. ~

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Joseph and a Nobleman's Sons: A Blessing in Disguise

A nobleman, greatly devoted to St. Joseph, was accustomed to celebrate his feast yearly, with great zeal. He had three children: one of them died on the very day of the saint's feast; the next year, on the same day, a second one died also. This double loss so disconcerted the good father, that he formed the resolution not to celebrate the feast on the following year, fearing lest his last remaining child might die in his turn. A short time before the feast, either to dispel his grief, or from the effects of fear, he undertook a journey. One day, as he walked along buried in thought, his eyes fell upon the bodies of two young men which were hanging from a tree. At the same moment an angel appeared to him and said: "Dost thou see those two young men ? Know then, that thy two sons, had they lived, would have ended like them, but, because of thy devotion to St. Joseph, he obtained from God that they should die in their infancy, in order to spare the dishonor to thy house, and to assure to themselves the happiness of heaven. Go then and celebrate the saint's feast, and fear nothing for thy remaining son; he will become a bishop and enjoy a long life." The events proved the truth of the prediction.

~  Excerpt from Devotion to Saint Joseph by Father Joseph Anthony Patrignani, S.J. ~


Monday, March 14, 2011

A Prayer to St. Joseph for the Church Militant

O glorious Saint Joseph, chosen by God to be the foster-father of Jesus, the chaste spouse of Mary ever Virgin, the head of the Holy Family and then appointed by the Vicar of Christ to be the heavenly patron and defender of the Church founded by Jesus, most confidently do I implore at this moment thy powerful aid for all the Church militant on earth. Do shield with thy truly paternal love especially the Supreme Pontiff and all the Bishops and priests who are in union with the Holy See of Peter. Be the defender of all who labor for souls amidst the trials and tribulations of this life, and cause all the peoples of the earth to submit themselves in a docile spirit to that Church which is the ark of salvation for all men.

Be pleased also, dear Saint Joseph, to accept this dedication of myself which I now make unto you. I dedicate myself wholly to you, that you may ever be my father, my patron and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent devotion to the interior life. Grant that, following your example, I may direct all my actions to the greater glory of God, in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate heart of Mary and in union with you. Finally pray for me that I maybe a partaker in the peace and joy which were yours at the hour of your holy death. Amen.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fr. Lallemant's Powerful Novena to St. Joseph

This powerful novena has proven especially effective in obtaining favors through the intercession of St. Joseph. The novena was devised by the celebrated Fr. Louis Lallemant, S.J. (1588-1635) of France, a saintly priest and master of spiritual life, to whom St. Joseph never denied any request. Urging two young priests to make this novena, he promised their every request would be fulfilled through St. Joseph s intercession in return for their display of special honor and devotion.

 One priest, who requested grace to speak and write worthily of the Lord, returned after reflection saying he wished to request a different grace. Fr. Lallemant replied: It is too late now to ask for another grace. The first has already been granted. In deed, the priest became one of the most noted preachers and writers of his day, through this novena to St. Joseph.

(Video added and text edited 3-18-11)

 No specific prayers are necessary. Each day for 9 days, turn to St. Joseph in spirit honoring him 4 times throughout the day. During each visit, consider one of the following aspects of St. Joseph, remembering to thank God for honoring St. Joseph and, through his intercession, request a similar grace:

- 1st Visit: St. Joseph's Fidelity to Grace; the Holy Ghost's action in his soul.
- 2nd Visit: St. Joseph's Fidelity to the Interior Life; his Spirit of Recollection.
- 3rd Visit: St. Joseph's Love for Our Lady.
- 4th Visit: St. Joseph's Love for the Divine Child.
How to Make this Novena

 (These “visits” may be made anywhere – at home, at work, on the street, in the car or bus – and at any time.)

During the first visit, consider St. Joseph’s fidelity to grace. Reflect upon the action of the Holy Ghost in his soul. At the conclusion of this brief meditation, thank God for so honoring St. Joseph, and ask, through his intercession, for a similar grace.

Later in the day, consider St. Joseph’s fidelity to the interior life. Study his spirit of recollection. Think, thank God, and ask.

Later still, consider St. Joseph’s love for Our Lady. Think, thank God, and ask.

Finally, in a fourth visit, reflect upon St. Joseph’s love for the Divine Child. Think, thank God, and ask.

Prayer Which May Be Said at the Conclusion of the Visits

(These prayers are adapted from Reflections for a Novena to St. Joseph, by Sister Emily Joseph, C.S.J.)

O My God, I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph’s great faithfulness to grace. Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may be faithful to grace. O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain for me the favor I ask. (Name your request).

O My God, I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph’s great faithfulness to the interior life. Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may be faithful to the interior life. O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain for me the favor I ask. (Name your request).

O My God, I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph’s great love for Our Lady. Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may truly love the Blessed Virgin Mary. O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain for me the favor I ask. (Name your request).

O My God, I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph’s great love for the Divine Child. Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may truly love the Child Jesus. O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain for me the favor I ask. (Name your request). (Source)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Prayer to Live and Die in the Love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

0 Great and good St. Joseph, chaste spouse of the Immaculate Mary, and guardian of the Word Incarnate, we place ourselves with confidence under your protection, and beg of you to teach us to practise the virtues of the Child Jesus.

We thank God for the singular favours He was pleased to bestow upon thee, and we earnestly desire to become pure, and humble, and patient, like unto thee.

Pray, then, for us, St. Joseph, and through that love which thou hast for Jesus and Mary, and which they have for thee, obtain for us the invaluable blessing of living and dying in the love of Jesus, Mary, and thee. Amen.

Holy Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

St. Joseph's Role in the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

13. This rite, to which Luke refers (2:22ff.), includes the ransom of the first-born and sheds light on the subsequent stay of Jesus in the Temple at the age of twelve.

The ransoming of the first-born is another obligation of the father, and it is fulfilled by Joseph. Represented in the first-born is the people of the covenant, ransomed from slavery in order to belong to God. Here too, Jesus - who is the true "price" of ransom (cf. 1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; 1 Pt l:19) - not only "fulfills" the Old Testament rite, but at the same time transcends it, since he is not a subject to be redeemed, but the very author of redemption.

The gospel writer notes that "his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him" (Lk 2:23), in particular at what Simeon said in his canticle to God, when he referred to Jesus as the "salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel" and as a "sign that is spoken against" (cf. Lk 2:30-34).

~ Pope John Paul II: excerpt from Redemptoris Custos ~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Feast of the Espousals of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, January 23

It is certain that a real matrimony was contracted by Joseph and Mary. Still Mary is called "espoused" to Joseph ("his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph", Matthew 1:18) because the matrimony was never consummated. The term spouse is applied to married people until their marriage is consummated (Colvenerius, Cal. Marian., 23 Jan.).  (Source)

Excerpts below from Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Agreda: 
God spoke in sleep to the high priest, saint Simeon, and commanded him to arrange for the marriage of Mary, the daughter of Joachim and Anne of Nazareth; since He regarded Her with special care and love. The holy priest answered, asking what was his will in regard to the person, whom the maiden Mary was to marry and to whom She was to give Herself as Spouse. The Lord instructed Him to call together the other priests and learned persons and to tell them that this Maiden was left alone and an orphan and that She did not desire to be married; but that, as it was a custom for the firstborn maidens not to leave the temple without being provided for, it was proper She should be married to whomever it seemed good to them.

The most prudent Virgin, with a countenance betokening virginal modesty, answered the priest with great composure and humility: "Sir, as far as my inclinations are concerned, I desire to preserve perpetual chastity during all my life; for I wished to dedicate myself to God in the service of this holy temple in return for the great blessings which I have received in it; I never had the intention or the desire to enter the state of matrimony, since I consider myself incapable of fulfilling the duties connected with it. This was my inclination, but thou, my master, who art to me in place of God, wilt teach me what is according to his holy Will," "My Daughter," answered the priest, "thy holy desires are acceptable to the Lord; but remember, that no maiden of Israel abstains from marriage as long as we expect the coming of the Messias conformably to the divine prophecies. Therefore all who obtain issue of children among our people, esteem themselves happy and blessed. In the matrimonial state Thou canst serve God truly and in great perfection; and in order that Thou mayest obtain a companion according to the heart of God and who will be conformable to thy wishes, we will pray to the Lord, as I have told Thee, asking Him to single out a husband for Thee, who shall be pleasing to Him and of the line of David; do Thou also pray continually for the same favor, in order that the Most High may favor Thee and may direct us all."

This happened nine days before the one appointed for the execution and realization of their resolve. During this time the most holy Virgin multiplied her prayers, beseeching the Lord with incessant tears and sighs, to fulfill his divine pleasure in that which She had so much at heart. On one of those nine days the Lord appeared to Her and said to Her: "My Spouse and my Dove, let thy afflicted heart expand and let it not be disturbed or sad; I will attend to thy yearnings and to thy requests, I will direct all things, and will govern the priests by my enlightenment; I will give Thee a spouse selected by Myself, and one who will put no hindrance to thy holy desires, but who, by my grace will prosper Thee in them. I will find for Thee a perfect man conformable to my heart and I will choose him from the number of my servants; my power is infinite, and my protection and aid shall never fail Thee."

...On the day on which...our Princess Mary completed the fourteenth year of her life, the men, who at that time in the city of Jerusalem were descendants of the tribe of Juda and of the race of David, gathered together in the temple. The sovereign Lady was also of that lineage. Among the number was Joseph, a native of Nazareth. and then living in Jerusalem; for he was one of the descendants of the royal race of David. He was then thirty-three years of age, of handsome person and pleasing countenance, but also of incomparable modesty and gravity; above all he was most chaste in thought and conduct, and most saintly in all his inclinations. From his twelfth year he had made and kept the vow of chastity. He was related to the Virgin Mary in the third degree, and was known for the utmost purity of his life, holy and irreprehensible in the eyes of God and of men.

All these unmarried men gathered in the temple and prayed to the Lord conjointly with the priests. in order to be governed by the holy Spirit in what they were about to do. The Most High spoke to the heart of the highpriest, inspiring him to place into the hands of each one of the young men a dry stick, with the command that each ask his Majesty with a lively faith, to single out the one whom He had chosen as the spouse of Mary. And as the sweet odor of her virtue and nobility, the fame of her beauty, her possessions and her modesty, and her position as being the firstborn in her family was known to all of them, each one coveted the happiness of meriting Her as a spouse. Among them all only the humble and most upright Joseph thought himself unworthy of such a great blessing; and remembering the vow of chastity which he had made and resolving anew its perpetual observance, he resigned himself to God's will, leaving it all to his disposal and being filled at the same time with a veneration and esteem greater than that of any of the others for the most noble maiden Mary.

While they were thus engaged in prayer the staff which Joseph held was seen to blossom and at the same time a dove of purest white and resplendent with admirable light, was seen to descend and rest upon the head of the saint, while in the interior of his heart God spoke: "Joseph, my servant, Mary shall be thy Spouse; accept Her with attentive reverence, for She is acceptable in my eyes, just and most pure in soul and body, and thou shalt do all that She shall say to Thee." At this manifestation and token from heaven the priests declared saint Joseph as the spouse selected by God himself for the maiden Mary. Calling Her forth for her espousal, the Chosen one issued forth like the sun, more resplendent than the moon, and She entered into the presence of all with a countenance more beautiful than that of an angel, incomparable in the charm of her beauty, nobility and grace; and the priests espoused Her to the most chaste and holy of men, saint Joseph.

...She betook Herself with her spouse Joseph to Nazareth, the native city of this most fortunate married couple. Joseph, although he had been born in that place, had, by the providential disposition of circumstances, decided to live for some time in Jerusalem. Thus it happened that he so improved his fortune as to become the spouse of Her, whom God had chosen to be his own Mother.

...She spoke to her spouse Saint Joseph, and said to him:...At a tender age, being compelled thereto by the force of this truth, which, with the knowledge of the deceitfulness of visible things, his divine light made known to me, I consecrated myself to God by a perpetual vow of chastity in body and soul; his I am and Him I acknowledge as my Spouse and Lord, with fixed resolve to preserve for Him my chastity. I beseech thee, my master, to help me in fulfilling this vow, while in all other things I will be thy servant, willing to work for the comfort of thy life as long as mine shall last. Yield, my spouse, to this resolve and make a like resolve, in order that, offering ourselves as an acceptable sacrifice to our eternal God, He may receive us in the odor of sweetness and bestow on us the eternal goods for which we hope."

The most chaste spouse Joseph, full of interior joy at the words of his heavenly Spouse, answered Her: "My Mistress, in making known to me thy chaste and welcome sentiments, thou hast penetrated and dilated my heart. I have not opened my thoughts to Thee before knowing thy own. I also acknowledge myself under greater obligation to the Lord of creation than other men; for very early He has called me by his true enlightenment to love Him with an upright heart; and I desire Thee to know, Lady, that at the age of twelve years I also made a promise to serve the Most High in perpetual chastity. On this account I now gladly ratify this vow in order not to impede thy own; in the presence of his Majesty I promise to aid Thee, as far as in me lies, in serving Him and loving Him according to thy full desires. I will be, with the divine grace, thy most faithful servant and companion, and I pray Thee accept my chaste love and hold me as thy brother, without ever entertaining any other kind of love, outside the one which Thou owest to God and after God to me. In this conversation the Most High confirmed anew the virtue of chastity in the heart of saint Joseph, and the pure and holy love due to his most holy spouse Mary. This love the saint already had in an eminent degree, and the Lady herself augmented it sweetly, dilating his heart by her most prudent discourse.

By divine operation the two most holy and chaste Spouses felt an incomparable joy and consolation. The heavenly Princess, as one who is the Mistress of all virtues and who in all things pursued the highest perfection of all virtues, lovingly corresponded to the desires of saint Joseph. The Most High also gave to saint Joseph new purity and complete command over his natural inclinations, so that without hindrance or any trace of sensual desires, but with admirable and new grace, he might serve his spouse Mary, and in Her, execute his will and pleasure.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dear Saint Joseph, Pure and Gentle

Dear St. Joseph, pure and gentle,
Guardian of the Saviour child,
Treading with the virgin mother,
Egypt's deserts rough and wild.

Hail, St. Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
Teach, oh, teach us how to die.

He who rested on thy bosom
Is by countless saints adored;
Prostrate angels in His presence
Sing hosannas to their Lord.

Hail, St. Joseph, ...

Now to thee no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer;
Then, dear saint, from thy fair dwelling,
Give to us a father's care.

Hail, St. Joseph, ...

 Dear St. Joseph, kind and loving,
Stretch to us a helping hand;
Guide us through life's toils and sorrows,
Safely to the distant land.

Hail, St. Joseph, ...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

St. Peter Julian Eymard: St. Joseph as Patron and Model of Eucharistic Adoration

"At Nazareth Joseph's days were filled with work which necessarily took him away at times from his Infant God. During these hours Mary replaced him, but when evening brought him home again, he would pass the entire night in adoration, never tiring, only too happy for the chance to contemplate the hidden riches of Jesus' divinity. For he pierced the rough garments the Child wore, until his faith touched the Sacred Heart. In profound adoration he united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph. Among the graces which Jesus gave to His foster-father (and He flooded him with the graces attached to every one of His mysteries) is that special to an adorer of the Blessed Sacrament. That is the one we must ask of St. Joseph. Have confidence, strong confidence in him. Take him as the patron and the model of your life of adoration."

~ St. Peter Julian Eymard ~