There is no Better Source of Wisdom Regarding St. Joseph than that of the Saints Who Loved Him
The saints have said a lot about the importance of a devotion to St. Joseph. On this feast day of St. Joseph the Worker let’s reflect on the wisdom of a couple of those saints.
“Knowing by experience St. Joseph’s astonishing influence with God, I would wish to persuade everyone to honor him with particular devotion. I have always seen those who honored him in a special manner make progress in virtue, for this heavenly protector favors in a striking manner the spiritual advancement of souls who commend themselves to him.”St. Theresa of Avila
I can’t think of a better reason to build a relationship with St. Joseph than to benefit from his exceptional help in our pursuit of holiness. St. Theresa of Avila wasn’t one to speak with imprecision. When she calls Joseph’s influence with God “astonishing” she is being deliberate. I always see this as an urgent call to beg for St. Joseph’s intercession daily, especially since he leads and guides us to our perfection and holiness.
“One cannot love Jesus and Mary without loving the Holy Patriarch.”St. Josemaria Escriva
Moreover, one cannot love others if they have not learned to love God first, as St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother did. The family is one body of many persons. The Holy Family is no different. One can’t love Mary or Jesus and cancel St. Joseph from the equation. Pray to the Holy Family, with Joseph as its head, to accept you into their spiritual household and to leave a deep impression on you.
“We wonder why the Gospel makes so little mention of St. Joseph. But did it not say everything when it taught us that he was the husband of Mary?”Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
God didn’t choose Joseph at random. It was not only Joseph’s heritage as a son of David’s line that qualified him to be the spouse of the Mother of Jesus. It was also his unique holiness. To be the husband of the sinless mother of God and the father and steward of the son of God, a man would have to be of exceptional character and holiness.
“Whereas Adam and Eve were the source of evil which was unleashed on the world, Joseph and Mary are the summit from which holiness spreads all over the earth.”Pope St. John Paul II
I hesitated to contribute anything to this because the quote is such a bombshell. Joseph stands out here because Adam was created in perfection, but by his choices, he lost that perfection. Joseph was born with the sin of Adam, but by his choices, he rose to perfection so great that God chose him to guard, guide, and protect God’s two most precious possessions—Jesus and Mary. Adam’s fall was easy. Joseph’s rise was tough. May God help us all to live by that example. Holiness is built choice-by-choice.
“Go to Joseph! Have recourse with special confidence to St. Joseph, for his protection is most powerful, as he is the patron of the universal Church.”Blessed Pope Pius IX
We traditionally see “Ite Ad Iosef” (Go to Joseph) associated with icons, art or general devotion to St. Joseph. And why? Because “…his protection is most powerful.” Go to St. Joseph.
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