Friday, March 19, 2010

Feast Day of the great St. Joseph

The chief sources of information on the life of St. Joseph are the first chapters of our first and third Gospels; they are practically also the only reliable sources, for, whilst, on the holy patriarch's life, as on many other points connected with the Saviour's history which are left untouched by the canonical writings, the apocryphal literature is full of details, the non-admittance of these works into the Canon of the Sacred Books casts a strong suspicion upon their contents; and, even granted that some of the facts recorded by them may be founded on trustworthy traditions, it is in most instances next to impossible to discern and sift these particles of true history from the fancies with which they are associated.

Nevertheless, there are some certain points of pious belief that will remain essentially undisputed, and for which cause it is expedient to have special devotion to this divinely elected foster father of the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

St. Joseph was a holy, just and diligent man, not only ready to fulfill the law in all things, but even to go above and beyond duty. In this he serves as a perfect model for husbands, workers, truly all men should be imitators of the hard working St. Joseph, who likely never uttered a complain in his life. Let us, therefore, invoke his intercession for the increasing of diligence and discipline in both our temporal and spiritual duties.

Possessed of the virtues of chastity and purity to the highest degree, he serves yet more as a role model for husbands, who ought to be chaste, pure and free from the yoke of lust and immoderation in their marital lives, as well as to all men so greatly afflicted by temptations of the flesh in this wicked world.

It should not cause any wonder if after this mortal life we should chance to learn that the intercession of St. Joseph has been the most powerful of that of all the saints, save his chaste spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, who we know is exalted above all creation.

Here is a prayer that is fitting for Catholics to say each morning along with their morning offering and other devotions.

PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH,
PATRON OF DEPARTING SOULS

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do 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. Oh, 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.



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