Devotion to St. Joseph by Deacon AntonioJune 6, 2012 No Comments
June 6, 2012 / MariaNews.com
Devotion to St. Joseph
By Deacon Antonio A. Sandoval
Refusal to give Mary and Joseph the love and devotion that Jesus gave them is at least a partial denial of the Incarnation. And denial of the Incarnation is the root of all heresies. The Eternal Word did indeed become flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by necessity, but by a free choice rooted in Divine humility. As it says in Phil 2:6-8: That even though he was in the form of God he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped, rather he took the form of a slave becoming like us… it was thus that he humbled himself. He modeled for us love and devotion for Mary and Joseph.
Of St. Joseph we could say, “Blessed are you among men for you were selected by God from among all men for the most noble vocation in Salvation History: to be the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus” Joseph was the head of the Holy Family. There is no doubt that Mary was submissive to Joseph in his role as husband (Eph 5: 22-23). Jesus, also, was humbly subject to Joseph. He obeyed him and rendered to him all the respect that children are bound to render their fathers. Joseph, on his part, with single hearted and profound love protected and provided for his divine house. He spent himself to attend to the necessities of his holy spouse and the Divine Infant.
Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical on Devotion to Joseph says, “Now the Devine house which Joseph ruled with the authority of a father, contained within its limits the scarce-born Church.” By this expression I believe Pope Leo XIII meant that the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was the “seed” that would germinate, grow and blossom to become the Church, that glorious vine that has spread its branches from shore to shore throughout the nations of the world. Pope Leo XIII goes on to say, “From the same fact that the most Holy Virgin is the mother of Jesus Christ, she is the mother of all Christians whom she bore on Mount Calvary amid the throes of Redemption; Jesus Christ is, in a manner, the first born of Christians who by adoption and Redemption are his brothers” [and sisters]. The multitudes of Christians who make up the Church are not only the children of Mary, but also the foster sons and daughters of Joseph.
There is no doubt that Jesus had a profound devotion for St. Joseph. The God who gave us the fourth commandment would certainly be the best example of fulfilling it when he pitched his tent among us as Son of God and son of man. The Christ who often invited and challenged us to follow him would certainly want us to imitate his devotion for St. Joseph in kind and intensity. Mary too, the best mother that ever lived would want all her children to share in the devotion which she had for her chaste spouse.
In heaven, St. Joseph is still the father of Jesus and the father of His Mystical Body, the Church. Let us join Jesus and Mary and honor him with genuine heart-felt devotion.
Prayer to St. Joseph: O great and good St. Joseph, chaste spouse of the Immaculate Mary, and guardian of the Word incarnate, we place ourselves with confidence under your protection, and beg of you to teach us to practice the virtues of the Child Jesus. We thank God for the singular favors He was pleased to bestow upon you, and we earnestly desire to become pure, and humble and patient like you. Pray, then, for us, St. Joseph, and through that love which you have for Jesus and Mary and which they have for you, obtain for us the invaluable blessing of living and dying in the love of Jesus, Mary, and you. Amen
Holy St. Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us. (Prayer taken from The Life and Glories of St. Joseph by Edward Healy Thompson, M.A. p. 460)
Read more of Deacon Antonio’s Articles on Faith: here.
Antonio is a retired deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver. Last September his wife, Maud, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. They were told that she didn’t have long to live. Since she is 83 years old, they decided to refuse the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Last October they were sent to Hospice. They have now been there for 8 months. Antonio’s wife is not experiencing the symptoms of multiple myeloma other than the fact that she cannot move and has to stay in bed all the time. She is also in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. You prayers will be appreciated. Antonio spends the entire day with his wife.
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