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joseph, the "impetus"
"When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife." —Matthew 1:24
In 1870, "a difficult time in the Church's history, Pope Pius IX, wishing to place her under the powerful patronage of the holy patriarch Joseph, declared him 'Patron of the Catholic Church' " (Guardian of the Redeemer, Pope John Paul II, 28). In 1889, Pope Leo XIII explained further what the Holy Spirit was doing through Pope Pius IX nineteen years previously: "In the same way that he (Joseph) once kept unceasing holy watch over the family of Nazareth, so now does he protect and defend with his heavenly patronage the Church of Christ" (ibid, 28). Moreover, Pope John Paul II, on the hundredth anniversary of Pope Leo's teaching on Joseph, taught: Joseph's "patronage must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world" (Guardian of the Redeemer, 29). Thus, St. Joseph is patron of the Church as her guardian and as "an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization."
In his fatherly love for the members of the Church, St. Joseph calls us to complete obedience, particularly to a "renewed commitment to evangelization." If you love Jesus and St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus and patron of the Church, let St. Joseph be an impetus to evangelize zealously.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me St. Joseph's part in Your plan of salvation.
Promise: "All depends on faith, everything is a grace. Thus the promise holds true for all Abraham's descendants." —Rm 4:16
Praise: St. Joseph was one of the first to accept the Incarnation, and the first to take Jesus to Gentiles (Mt 2:14).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003