Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Solemnity of St. Joseph

St. Joseph is one of my favorite saints, even though we know little about him. Catholic Tradition holds that St. Joseph is the patron of a good death. As he lay on his deathbed, Joseph was comforted by both the Blessed Virgin Mary and by Jesus Christ himself. You can't have a better death than that. As the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus enjoyed the Beatific Vision every moment of his earthly life. God made man submitted to the leadership of St. Joseph. Joseph taught the Christ child to be a man and how to earn his daily bread through the sweat of his brow by working as a carpenter. St. Joseph is a model of manhood for all Catholic men precisely because of his silence in the Gospels. We never read of Joseph speaking, and yet both the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ followed his lead and happily submitted to his headship of the Holy Family.

St. Joseph has also been proclaimed as the patron saint of the Catholic Church as a whole. He was entrusted to raise the Christ child so it makes sense that he would be tasked with guiding and protecting the bride of Christ, the holy Catholic Church. Every Catholic man would do well to cultivate a devotion to St. Joseph. St. Teresa of Avila said that when she entrusted an intention to the care of St. Joseph, she was never confounded. St. Joseph, ora pro nobis.

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