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Catholic Word of the Day: DEVOTION TO ST. JOSEPH , 04-02-10 ^ | 04-02-10 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary

Posted on 04/02/2010 9:11:23 AM PDT by Salvation

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Manifestation of reverence for the spouse of the Virgin Mary.

In the first centuries of the Church, there was no sign of a liturgical devotion to St. Joseph, which parallels the slow development of Marian piety and is understandable in view of the need first to stablilize the Church's Christology. However, the Eastern Fathers since the fourth century, such as Ephrem, John Damascene, and John Chrysostom, often speak of Joseph and extol his purity of life as in the classic phrase of St. Ephrem (306-73): "No one can worthily praise St. Joseph." The Latin Fathers, notably Jerome and Augustine, stress the justice of Mary's spouse, in the biblical sense of his fidelity to the laws of God. The earliest public cultus of St. Joseph appeared in the East, with June 20 the commemorative feast. Later Oriental sources variously assigned December 25, 26, and the Sunday before or after Christmas as feast days honoring St. Joseph at the head of other persons associated with the birth of Christ. By the ninth century the Western martyrologies celebrated his memory on March 19, The Crusades gave great impetus to the devotion, as seen in the basilica that the Crusades built in honor of St. Joseph at Nazareth.

From the Middle Ages on, the veneration of the foster-father of Jesus entered the full stream of Christian piety, through the writings and preaching of Sts. Peter Damian, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, and Bernardine of Siena. Before the Council of Trent, the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19) was placed in the Roman Breviary by Pope Sixtus IV in 1479. And after Trent, by a decree of 1621, Pope Gregory XV made it a day of obligatory attendance at Mass and abstention from servile work, which it still remains according to canon law, except in certain countries such as the United States.

A prallel feast to honor the patronage of St. Joseph was extended by Pope Pius IX in 1870 to the whole Christian world, and at the same time the saint was declared "Patron of the Universal Church." In 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted a new feast of St. Joseph the Worker for May 1, and March 19 now commemorates his patronage of the Church.

St. Joseph's pre-eminent sanctity, which places him next to the Blessed Virgin among the saints, was confirmed by many papal documents, especially those of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XII. He is invoked as the patron of a happy death, and by a long-standing custom the month of March and each Wednesday of the week are dedicated to him. In paintings and statues he is usually shown with the Child Jesus and a lily or staff. More recent artists picture him with a carpenter's square or other insturment of his trade in his hand.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; saints

1 posted on 04/02/2010 9:11:24 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
We just finished the Month of March -- Devotion to St. Joseph!

March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

O great Saint Joseph, thou generous depositary and dispenser of immortal riches, behold us prostrate at thy feet, imploring thee to receive us as thy servants and as thy children. Next to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which thou art the faithful copy, we acknowledge that there is no heart more tender, more compassionate than thine.

What, then, have we to fear, or, rather, for what should we not hope, if thou dost deign to be our benefactor, our master, our model, our father and our mediator? Refuse not, then, this favor, O powerful protector! We ask it of thee by the love thou hast for Jesus and Mary. Into thy hands we commit our souls and bodies, but above all the last moments of our lives.

May we, after having honored, imitated, and served thee on earth, eternally sing with thee the mercies of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

Things to Do:

Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.


Another prayer to St. Joseph:
To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we fly in our tribulation, and, having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy holy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and through the paternal love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech the graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with thy power and strength aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving Father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us, and from Heaven assist us in this our struggle against the power of darkness; and as once thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from death, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of Her enemies and from all adversity.

Shield too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thine example and strengthened by thine aid, we may be able to live a holy life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in Heaven. Amen.

Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus

St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus

Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (An Evangelical Minister preaches on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders

St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence
St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
The Heart of St. Joseph

The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph

2 posted on 04/02/2010 9:12:42 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: JRandomFreeper; Allegra; SuziQ; BlackVeil; Straight Vermonter; Cronos; SumProVita; ...

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3 posted on 04/02/2010 9:14:13 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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