Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today many people, including myself will post information about St. Joseph what he did, who he was, etc. This is great and worthy of merit and CatholicCulture.org has a great peice on St. Joseph. Nevertheless, today I wanted to focus on how I recently came to know of “the quiet saint.”

As the youngest of four, Joseph has surrounded me my entire life. He is the namesake of my father and my two brothers. Family legend has it that I too almost suit until my mother intervened. This action on her part probably set something in motion that is now coming full circle as this year I have come to hold a particular devotion to the Foster-father of Jesus.

Being a husband and a father of two, I have often sought the guidance and a spiritual connection with a saint in heaven. I am working on ensuring my eligibility for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this year and thanks to St. Joseph, I have hope that I may receive this sacrament this year. If that does not occur, the example of Joseph speaks to me and set me at ease for through him I am learning to be a better father and a better Christian. For this and many other reasons I am stating now that if and when I am Confirmed into the Church, I will chose to take Joseph’s name in honor of him, his vocation and those who came before me in my family.

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This connection, devotion and decision came about fairly recently. It all began with a trip to the Catholic Information Center in downtown Washington, DC to adore Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Upon entering the chapel I found a statue titled “St. Joseph the Worker.”

The artist chose to represent Joseph to be in his mid-30s, strong and viral. His face exemplified the traits that many think of when they hear this saint’s name: humility, hard work, obedience, total love. In his hands, Joseph is holding the infant Jesus whose position and expression reflects the two-fold love that the Christ-child has for his foster-father and creature. The human nature of Jesus has no worries in His life and feels nothing but love from Joseph. The divine nature of Christ, displays pleasure with His creature who, a stained sinner like us, maintained obedience and fidelity to God.

Marinate on this, reflect on the images to the right.

Dony MacManus, the sculpture, did a masterful job at expressing this in bronze. The artist was also commissioned to create another bronze in Florida. This other work seems to flow with the bronze in the CIC. St. Joseph is now embracing the Holy Infant.

Oh how when I set my eyes on the statue in DC and then found a photo of the statue in Florida did I desire to imitate that with my own children. If it were not for my desire to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (which is always a response to Him calling out to you) I would not have seen the image. Jesus and Our Blessed Mother, through the Rosary, answered my prayers for guidance and grace in becoming a better father and husband by pointing me to St. Joseph.

Not only will Joseph always lead me to Jesus as my Lord and my God but he speaks to me as a father, husband, and employee. It is in his life that I see a clear example of what it means to be the head of a household in charge of providing and instruction. It is in him that I see an example of what it takes to be a man who loves Jesus!

Litany of Saint Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,

Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,

Pray for us.

Holy Joseph,

Pray for us.

Noble Son of the House of David,

Pray for us.

Light of the Patriarchs,

Pray for us.

Husband of the Mother of God,

Pray for us.

Chaste Guardian of the Virgin,

Pray for us.

Foster-father of the Son of God,

Pray for us.

Sedulous Defender of Christ,

Pray for us.

Head of the Holy Family,

Pray for us.

Joseph most just,

Pray for us.

Joseph most chaste,

Pray for us.

Joseph most prudent,

Pray for us.

Joseph most valiant,

Pray for us.

Joseph most obedient,

Pray for us.

Joseph most faithful,

Pray for us.

Mirror of patience,

Pray for us.

Lover of poverty,

Pray for us.

Model of all who labor,

Pray for us.

Glory of family life,

Pray for us.

Protector of Virgins,

Pray for us.

Pillar of families,

Pray for us.

Consolation of the afflicted,

Pray for us.

Hope of the sick,

Pray for us.

Patron of the dying,

Pray for us.

Terror of the demons,

Pray for us.

Protector of the holy Church,

Pray for us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

He made him master of his house,

and ruler of all his possessions.

O God, You were pleased to choose Saint Joseph as the husband of Mary and the guardian of your Son. Grant that, as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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