Happy Solemnity of St. Joseph! Today is one of my favorite feast days and we take a pause from the penitential spirit of the beautiful Lenten season to celebrate and honor the man God chose to be the head of the household of the Holy Family in Nazareth.
A virtuous man.
He embodies the virtues of family life, daily duties, and the protection of the purity of the home.
He is patron of the dying. He died the most holy death, in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
He is the patron of the universal Church. He protected, defended and guarded the Holy Family and continues to do the same for the Church.
Ite ad Ioseph. Go to Joseph. His intercession on our behalf are treated as orders! He was chosen to be the guardian of Jesus on earth. Jesus lived under his and Mary’s roof and “was subject to them” -[Luke 2:51] so how much more will Jesus listen to his pleads on our behalf from Heaven!
Today we are using our beautiful wedding china for all our meals.
We’ve also put fresh flowers (sunflowers are just so bright and cheerful and perfect for today!) by our St. Joseph statue, and I’m going to make a special dessert to celebrate similarly to how I showed you here and here.
Here are some quotes from St. Josemaria about the “master of interior life” I wanted to share to help us reflect on his many virtues:
There are many good reasons to honour Saint Joseph, and to learn from his life. He was a man of strong faith. He earned a living for his family — Jesus and Mary — with his own hard work… He guarded the purity of the Blessed Virgin, who was his Spouse. And he respected — he loved! — God’s freedom, when God made his choice: not only his choice of Our Lady the Virgin as his Mother, but also his choice of Saint Joseph as the Husband of Holy Mary. —The Forge, 552
Love Saint Joseph a lot. Love him with all your soul, because he, together with Jesus, is the person who has most loved our Blessed Lady and been closest to God. He is the person who has most loved God, after our Mother. —He deserves your affection, and it will do you good to get to know him, because he is the Master of the interior life, and has great power before the Lord and before the Mother of God. —The Forge, 554
As you get to know him, you discover that the holy patriarch is also a master of the interior life — for he teaches us to know Jesus and share our life with him, and to realize that we are part of God’s family. St Joseph can teach us these lessons, because he is an ordinary man, a family man, a worker who earned his living by manual labour — all of which has great significance and is a source of happiness for us.
I don’t agree with the traditional picture of St Joseph as an old man, even though it may have been prompted by a desire to emphasise the perpetual virginity of Mary. I see him as a strong young man, perhaps a few years older than our Lady, but in the prime of his life and work.
You don’t have to wait to be old or lifeless to practice the virtue of chastity. Purity comes from love; and the strength and gaiety of youth are no obstacle for noble love. Joseph had a young heart and a young body when he married Mary, when he learned of the mystery of her divine motherhood, when he lived in her company, respecting the integrity God wished to give the world as one more sign that he had come to share the life of his creatures. Anyone who cannot understand a love like that knows very little of true love and is a complete stranger to the christian meaning of chastity.
Download the homily “In Joseph’s Workshop”
Have a joyous feast day!