Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Feast Day!


Today is St. Joseph's Day, i.e., my* feast day. In the USA, this day is overshadowed a bit by St. Patrick's Day, so I'd like to give St. Joseph a bit of airtime.

St. Joseph was, of course, the husband of the Virgin Mary and the earthly guardian of Jesus. While there is nothing authoritatively written about it, the scuttlebutt goes that St. Joseph was an "old man" when Jesus was born. When you think about the state of things in Nazareth in the Year Zero, "old" probably means 30.

That he is specially venerated (particularly--but, of course, not exclusively--by Italian and Spanish-speaking peoples) is something done out of faith since, as Pope John Paul the Great noted, Holy Writ says very little about St. Joseph and in turn, St. Joseph says nothing in Scripture. That's right, St. Joseph is utterly silent in the Bible.

Pope JP2: "St. Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God."

St. Joseph's intercession is invoked on behalf of many things, such as fathers, families, a happy/holy death, unborn children and (my fave!) people who fight communism. He was the means via which the prophecy of the Davidic descent of the Messiah would be fulfilled. One of my favorite meditations on St. Joseph concerns the fact he is also likely that St. Joseph may have performed Our Lord's briss, and thus responsible for the first shedding of the blood of Christ.

For a great article on St. Joseph, click HERE.

Here is my favorite prayer to St. Joseph:

Glorious Saint Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ, to you I raise my heart and my hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favor I now implore.

{mention the petition}

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel animated with confidence that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. O glorious Saint Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His name, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.



* Yeah, OK. The Holy Father's as well.