Year of St. Joseph

In art, Joseph is typically portrayed as an older man, with grey hair and a beard, often balding, sometimes appearing frail and a marginal figure next to Mary and Jesus, if not entirely in the background. Some statues of Joseph show his staff topped with flowers. St. Joseph is shown with the attributes of a carpenter’s square or tools, with the infant Jesus, his lily blossomed staff, two turtle doves, or a spikenard.” This passage was part of an article entitled Joseph on Catholic-on-Line.

On the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the Vatican introduced seven new invocations to the litany in honor of St Joseph. The new invocations, originally in Latin, are as follows: Custos Redemptoris, Serve Christi, Minister salutis, Fulcimen in difficultatibus, Patrone exsulum, Patrone afflictorum, Patrone pauperum. These could be translated as Guardian of the Redeemer, Servant of Christ, Minister of salvation, Support in difficulties, Patron of exiles, Patron of the afflicted, and Patron of the poor.

Joseph accepted Mary unconditionally. He trusted in the angel’s words.

“The nobility of Joseph’s heart is such that what he learned from the law he made dependent on charity. Today, in our world where psychological, verbal, and physical violence towards women is so evident, Joseph appears as the figure of a respectful and sensitive man. Even though he does not understand the bigger picture, he makes a decision to protect Mary’s good name, her dignity, and her life. In his hesitation about how best to act, God helped him by enlightening his judgment.” [18]

“The greatness of Saint Joseph is that he was the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus. In this way, he placed himself, in the words of Saint John Chrysostom, ‘at the service of the entire plan of salvation. ”

“Joseph was the man chosen by God to guide the beginnings of the history of redemption. He was the true “miracle” by which God saves the child and his mother. God acted by trusting in Joseph’s creative courage.”

– Pope Francis, Patris Corde

St. Joseph Prayer

St. Joseph, patron saint of the unexpected,
How freely you stepped into the unknown
With your unwavering yes.
St. Joseph, dreamer of dreams,
How attuned your heart was, waking or sleeping,
To the promptings of angels.
St. Joseph, nurturing father,
How openly you accepted your unconventional family,
Lighting the way for us, too, to embrace all.
St. Joseph, there is still so much we don’t know about you,
But maybe that is your gift to us,
That we may see in the father of Jesus a mystery
That sanctifies the hidden and untold in our own lives.
May we, too, live our days in the holy shadow of your son.
-Cameron Bellm

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