St Joseph ~ 19 March

From Dom Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year:

Who can imagine or worthily describe the sentiments which filled the heart of this man, whom the Gospel describes to us in one word, when it calls him the just man (St. Matth. i. 19.)? Let us try to picture him to ourselves amidst the principal events of his life: his being chosen as the Spouse of Mary, the most holy and perfect of God’s creatures; the Angel’s appearing to him, and making him the one single human confidant of the mystery of the Incarnation, by telling him that his Virgin Spouse bore within her the fruit of the world’s salvation; the joys of Bethlehem, when he assisted at the Birth of the Divine Babe, honoured the Virgin Mother, and heard the Angels singing; his seeing, first the humble and simple Shepherds, and then the rich Eastern Magi, coming to the stable to adore the new-born Child; the sudden fears which came on him, when he was told to arise, and, midnight as it was, to flee into Egypt with the Child and the Mother; the hardships of that exile, the poverty and the privations which were endured by the hidden God, Whose foster-father he was, and by the Virgin Spouse, whose sublime dignity was now so evident to him; the return to Nazareth, and the humble and laborious life led in that village, where he so often witnessed the world’s Creator sharing in the work of a Carpenter; the happiness of such a life, in that cottage where his companions were the Queen of the Angels and the Eternal Son of God, both of whom honoured, and tenderly loved him as the head of the family: yes, Joseph was beloved and honoured by the uncreated Word, the Wisdom of the Father, and by the Virgin, the master-piece of God’s power and holiness.

We ask, what mortal can justly appreciate the glories of St. Joseph? To do so, he would have to understand the whole of that Mystery, of which God made him the necessary instrument. What wonder, then, if this Foster-Father of the Son of God was prefigured in the Old Testament, and that by one of the most glorious of the Patriarchs? Let us listen to St. Bernard, who thus compares the two Josephs: “The first was sold by his brethren, out of envy, and was led into Egypt, thus prefiguring our Saviour’s being sold; the second Joseph, that he might avoid Herod’s envy, led Jesus into Egypt. The first was faithful to his master, and treated his wife with honour; the second, too, was the most chaste guardian of his Spouse, the Virgin Mother of his Lord. To the first was given the understanding and interpretation of dreams; to the second, the knowledge of, and participation in, the heavenly Mysteries. The first laid up stores of corn, not for himself, but for all the people; the second received the Living Bread that came down from heaven, and kept it both for himself and for the whole world. (Homily 2nd. On the Missus est.)”

Such a life could not close save by a death that was worthy of so great a Saint. The time came for Jesus to quit the obscurity of Nazareth, and show himself to the world. His own works were henceforth to bear testimony to his divine origin; the ministry of Joseph, therefore, was no longer needed. It was time for him to leave this world, and wait, in Abraham’s bosom, the arrival of that day, when heaven’s gates were to be opened to the just. As Joseph lay on his bed of death, there was watching by his side He that is the master of life, and that had often called this his humble creature, Father. His last breath was received by the glorious Virgin Mother, whom he had, by a just right, called his Spouse. It was thus, with Jesus and Mary by his side, caring and caressing him, that Joseph sweetly slept in peace. The Spouse of Mary, the Foster-Father of Jesus, now reigns in heaven with a glory which, though inferior to that of Mary, is marked with certain prerogatives which no other inhabitant of heaven can have.

From heaven, he exercises a powerful protection over those that invoke him. In a few weeks from this time, the Church will show us the whole magnificence of this protection; we shall be having a special Feast in honour of the Patronage of St. Joseph. What the Liturgy proposes to us today, are his glories and privileges. Let us unite with the Faithful throughout the world, and offer the Spouse of Mary the Hymns, which are this day sung in his praise.

Preface

Vere dignum et iustum est, æquum et salutáre, nos tibi semper et ubíque grátias ágere: Dómine sancte, Pater omnípotens, ætérne Deus: Et te in Festivitáte beáti Ioseph débitis magnificáre præcóniis, benedícere et prædicáre. Qui et vir iustus, a te Deíparæ Vírgini Sponsus est datus: et fidélis servus ac prudens, super Famíliam tuam est constitútus: ut Unigénitum tuum, Sancti Spíritus obumbratióne concéptum, paterna vice custodíret, Iesum Christum, Dóminum nostrum. Per quem maiestátem tuam laudant Angeli, adórant Dominatiónes, tremunt Potestátes. Coeli coelorúmque Virtútes ac beáta Séraphim sócia exsultatióne concélebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admítti iúbeas, deprecámur, súpplici confessióne dicéntes:

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: and that we should magnify with due praises, bless and proclaim Thee on the solemnity of blessed Joseph; who, being a just man, was given by Thee as a Spouse to the Virgin Mother of God, and, as a faithful and prudent servant was set over Thy Family, that, with fatherly care, he might guard Thine only-begotten Son, conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, and the Powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say with lowly praise:

Prayers to St. Joseph

WORDS OF OUR LADY TO VEN. MARY OF AGREDA

“The children of the world are ignorant regarding the privileges and rights which the Most High has conferred on my holy spouse, and the power of his intercession with the Divine Majesty and with me. But I assure you, my daughter, that in Heaven he is most intimate with the Lord, and has great power to avert the punishment of Divine justice from sinners. In all trials seek his intercession, because the Heavenly Father will grant whatever my spouse asks.”

WORDS OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

“Some Saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy patron St. Joseph has the power to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking.”

ST. TERESA’S “GUARANTEE”
Words of St.Teresa of Avila

“To other Saints Our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity-but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, He has given the power to help us in all. Our Lord would have us understand that as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth-for St. Joseph, bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him-so now in Heaven Our Lord grants all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they, too, know the same thing by experience . . .” -Autobiography, VI, 9

ST. TERESA’S PLEA
Words of St.Teresa of Avila

“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this [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 . . .” -Autobiography, VI, 11-12


Novena Prayers to St. Joseph

St Joseph Prayer & Promise
Devotion to St. Joseph from the litany of St. Joseph
8 Promises of St. Joseph
Morning Offering though St. Joseph
Prayer of confidence in St. Joseph
Prayer to St. Joseph to obtain a Conversion
Prayer to St. Joseph for Purity
St. Joseph Prayer for Life
Prayer to St. Joseph after the Rosary
Memorare to St. Joseph
30 Day Prayer to St. Joseph
Seven Sorrows & Seven Joys of St Joseph
Seven Sundays dedicated to St Joseph

Act of Consecration to St Joseph
St. Joseph Chaplet
Daily Devotion to St. Joseph
Invocation Prayer to St. Joseph
Litany of St. Joseph
Petition Prayers to St Joseph
Petition to ask assistance with A difficult problem
Petition for a special favor of St Joseph
Petition for a special blessing from St Joseph
Petition for success of a temporal affair
Thanksgiving to St. Joseph
Prayers to St. Joseph for a Happy Death
Prayers to St. Joseph for Sale of House
Prayers to St Joseph to Aid in Parenting, Parents prayer, Fathers Prayer
Prayers to St. Joseph for Priests, Church & Pope
The Cord of St Joseph
Nine first Wednesdays devotion to St. Joseph
Prayers to St Joseph for Workmen
Prayer to St Joseph to Know one’s Vocation
St Joseph Carpenter’s Prayer
Prayer to St Joseph Patron of Workers
Prayer to St Joseph for Employment
Prayer to St Joseph for Fidelity to Work
Prayer to St Joseph the Worker
Prayer to St. Joseph for those who have a Laborious Occupation

 

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