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Thursday, March 19, 2009

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St. Joseph


2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

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joseph's holy day

"Forever I will maintain My kindness toward him, and My covenant with him stands firm." —Psalm 89:29

Holy Mother Church has recognized the holiness and trustworthiness of St. Joseph over the years (see Ps 89:29). Blessed Pope Pius IX named St. Joseph as patron saint of the universal church. The month of March is commonly known as the month of St. Joseph. St. Teresa of Avila shares in her writings a particularly strong devotion to St. Joseph, who never let her down when she asked for something through his powerful intercession.

Joseph is the legal father of Jesus (see Mt 1:24), acted as Jesus' guardian, and provided for Him. Because of Joseph, son of David, the prophecy of the Old Testament is fulfilled that the Messiah would come through the line of David (2 Sm 7:9-16), through the legal fatherhood of Joseph.

Joseph's faith was beyond natural ability. He became a foster-father to a Son conceived in the womb of a Virgin! Joseph indeed submitted his intellect and will to God. St. Joseph is a great example for us in fundamental obedience, as he followed the angel's instruction to take Mary as his wife (see Mt 1:20-24). Tradition says Joseph died in the arms of Jesus and Mary, and is therefore the patron saint of a happy death. In the litany to St. Joseph, he is called the "terror of demons." At the hour of our death, be assured that the demons are working overtime to steal each of our souls. Therefore, we can confidently entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, for he is trustworthy.

Prayer:  O glorious St. Joseph, assist us in our every necessity, as St. Thomas Aquinas recommends.

Promise:  "All depends on faith, everything is grace." —Rm 4:16

Praise:  God unhesitatingly entrusted His only Son and the Blessed Virgin Mary into the care of St. Joseph. Praise You, Father, "for giving such authority to men" (Mt 9:8).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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