Men, it is time to turn earnestly to the protection of the great St. Joseph.

When Egypt experienced a great famine, “Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph and do what he tells you’” (Genesis 41:55).

The world is experiencing a great, moral famine. The Popes have told us: “Go to Joseph, Son of David.”

Devotion to St. Joseph has been steadily gaining momentum for over a hundred years and is desperately needed for our time. The Church is the Body of Christ and Joseph was appointed guardian of Christ and head of God’s household. He is the Patriarch, like the first Joseph, who through his vigilance saved the world from starvation in time of famine. The Popes have pointed us to Joseph consistently in the last 150 years, indicating that we need his protection and support in the midst of our moral famine.

Consider the following acts of Supreme Pontiffs:

On December 8, 1870 Pope Pius IX, in an act of enormous consequence, declared St. Joseph Patron of Universal Church.

In 1889, Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical on St. Joseph, Quamquam Pluries, asking that a prayer to Joseph be added to the rosary during the month of October (see below) and that the month of March be kept in honor or St. Joseph.

In 1955 Pope Pius XII erected the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker to be celebrated May 1st to counter act Communist May Day celebrations. Essentially, he asked St. Joseph to counteract the false ideology of work and politics overtaking the world after World War II.

In 1962 Pope St. John XXIII added Joseph’s name to the Roman Canon, followed by Pope Francis’ inclusion of Joseph in all Eucharistic prayers in 2013 (thank you, Pope Emeritus Benedict for putting that one in process).

We also see devotion to St. Joseph confirmed supernaturally:

First: “The Story of Knock began on the 21st August, 1879 when, at approximately 8 o’clock in the evening, fifteen people from the village of Knock in Co. Mayo, witnessed an Apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Lamb and cross on an altar at the gable wall of the Parish Church.”

Second, the Miracle of the Sun: “After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.”

Third, recently approved apparitions in Itapiranga, Argentina:  three Sacred Hearts: Jesus, Mary and Joseph:My son Jesus and I, your Mother, desire that the whole world be consecrated to the most chaste heart of St. Joseph.”

Why this building momentum in devotion to St. Joseph? I think it may have something to do with what Sr. Lucia described as a pivotal moment: “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.” One of the main victims of this battle has been fatherhood. Devotion to the chaste heart of Joseph the worker may be the antidote to the crisis of manhood we face in our culture.

He is the model of fatherhood and of forming a home through prayer and work. As Pope Benedict taught:

Joseph fulfilled every aspect of his paternal role. He must certainly have taught Jesus to pray, together with Mary. In particular Joseph himself must have taken Jesus to the Synagogue for the rites of the Sabbath, as well as to Jerusalem for the great feasts of the people of Israel. Joseph, in accordance with the Jewish tradition, would have led the prayers at home both every day — in the morning, in the evening, at meals — and on the principal religious feasts. In the rhythm of the days he spent at Nazareth, in the simple home and in Joseph’s workshop, Jesus learned to alternate prayer and work, as well as to offer God his labour in earning the bread the family needed.

My own relationship with St. Joseph has been growing. About eight years ago I heard the Lord moving me to accept him as a father figure in my life. Although our spiritual life is ordered toward our heavenly Father, Joseph provides a near perfect model of receiving and giving the Father’s love: he is a human image of the Father. He has been a constant guide and intercessor for my work, constantly fluctuating housing situation, and family life. He is an inspiration for chastity, fatherly care, spiritual silence and obedience, and faithfulness at work. I never tire of recommended his intercession to everyone no matter the problem and he has proven the power of his intercession.

If we as Catholic men are going to reflect the love of the heavenly Father, we need a model. If we are going to learn to be better stewards of our work and family, to be men of prayer, justice, and integrity, it is clear: we need to go to Joseph.

Prayer to Saint Joseph (requested by Pope Leo XIII)

To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. By that charity wherewith thou wert united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wilt look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and wilt succor us in our need by thy power and strength.

Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen off-spring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, that, following thine example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

03 17 2017
Back to all articles
  • donttouchme

    According to John Paul II St. Joseph didnt have any authority in his family. He and Mary were mutually submissive. She didn't call him her lord like the holy women before her, as Sarah to Abraham, which St. Peter discusses in one of his epistles. But if he was the head of the holy family in any meaningful way, how did Mary treat him? What were her duties toward him? What are the duties of women toward men in general?

    • R. Jared Staudt

      Your view of John Paul is false. He is clear that St. Joseph was the authoritative head of the Holy Family. Read this: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_15081989_redemptoris-custos.html

      • donttouchme

        Thanks for that citation, I hadn't seen that before. But as far as I can see it unfortunately says nothing--as with everything else I've ever seen that JPII wrote--about St. Joseph's (or any husband's) authority or rights as a husband and father in relation to Mary (or any wife). It repeats implicitly the same false teaching that plays out everywhere else in JPII's work, that wives aren't subject to their husbands.

      • R. Jared Staudt

        If he says that Joseph has authority over the Holy Family what do you think that means?

      • donttouchme

        You tell me what it means. In the realm of JPII it means that Jesus was subject to him but he and Mary were subject to each other.

      • R. Jared Staudt

        St. Paul said: "Be subordinate to one another out of love for Christ." Are you denying that reality? That is God's revelation. Only afterwards does he speak of the man's headship, which he defines as offering one's life to the bride, as Christ did for the Church. This is John Paul's point if you read lecture 89 of the Theology of the Body carefully. He does not deny the man's headship or the subordination of the wife to the husband, which he also quotes from Paul. He explains this particular headship in light of Paul's own teaching about mutual subjection. I think if you were married to the Virgin Mary you would want to defer to her!!!
        Read John Paul carefully so you can understand what he is actually saying: http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tb88.htm

      • donttouchme

        That general audience in paragraph 3 right off the bat conflicts with St. Peter in 1 Peter 3 where the husband is "the lord."

      • donttouchme

        St Paul in TItus and St Peter in 1 Peter 3, as well as everyone else prior to JPII, like Pope Pius XI, say wives are subject to their husbands and owe them obedience. JPII says in Mulieris Dignitatem and elsewhere that while the Church is subject to Christ as per Ephesians 5, wives arent subject to husbands as it says in the famous passage. Do you know of anywhere that JPII discusses a wife's subjection to her husband? Plainly, I mean, the way he discussed Christ's subjection to Joseph?

      • R. Jared Staudt

        In the lecture I referred you to, it is present. When he says not lord, he means not a dominating lord, but one who is head by self-gift.
        He says that wives should find their relationship of being subject to their husbands from the lordship of Christ, which extends to both spouses. Because he does not use the language of Pius XI, since he is approaching the teaching from a different angle, it does not mean that he is contradicting. He is trying to help husbands and wives to understand their relationship in terms of self-gift to one another through their mutual reception of Christ's self-gift.
        By quoting the passage from Paul, he affirms it but connects it the mutual subjection Paul himself teaches:
        "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord" (5:22). In saying this, the author does not intend to say that the husband is the lord of the wife and that the interpersonal pact proper to marriage is a pact of domination of the husband over the wife. Instead, he expresses a different concept: that the wife can and should find in her relationship with Christ—who is the one Lord of both the spouses—the motivation of that relationship with her husband which flows from the very essence of marriage and of the family.

      • donttouchme

        The husband isn't lord by virtue of self-gift, according to St. Peter and Pope Pius XI. "Many of them [false teachers] even go further and assert that such a subjection of ***one party to the other*** is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal..." In the same way, I would think the Pope, or any other superior, isn't in authority by virtue of self-gift. A father isn't in authority over his kids by virtue of self-gift, and St. Peter says a wife is subject to her husband even if he doesn't believe in Jesus at all. Using JPII's formulation a father is also subject to his children, but he had no problem saying Jesus was obedient to Joseph.

        I don't see it present in that piece except, possibly, by implication when he says if husband and wife are mutually subordinant a balance is sure to be achieved. There's no explanation of the authority and rights of the husband or of men in general. He explicitly states the reverse quite often, the rights of wives and women and the duties of men toward them.

    • I'm also going to put this here just in case you were confused. I would be careful to disrespect a man such as Saint John Paul the Great.

      Extract from a good EWTN article by Mgr P.E. Hallet.

      Canonization, on the contrary, decrees the public cultus of the Universal Church to the saints. Benedict XIV enumerates seven acts as constituting this official cultus. (1). All Christians are commanded to regard them as, and call them, saints. (2). They are invoked in the public prayers of the Church, and it is forbidden any longer to pray them. (3). Churches and altars may be dedicated to God in their honour. (4). Mass is offered and Divine Office recited in their honour, and though this Mass may not be prescribed for the universal Church, but only for one or more dioceses, yet it may be said, as a votive Mass, anywhere throughout the Church. (5). Feast days are assigned to them. (6). Their images are depicted with the aureole or other attributes of sanctity. (7). Their relics are publicly honoured.

      Canonization is the final and irreformable judgment of the Church, and therefore we are bound, as her dutiful children, to believe that saints duly canonized are in heaven.[1] Beatification, on the contrary, is not a decree for the whole Church, but rather of the nature of a local tolerance, and therefore we are not bound to believe that the beatified are in heaven, although we should be extremely rash not to do so, especially where they have been formally beatified by the Church, and not merely allowed to retain an immemorial cultus.

      • donttouchme

        JPII, prior to becoming pope, rejected the teaching of Pope Pius XI and made up his own ideas about husbands and wives: "74. The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man. Many of them even go further and assert that such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal; wherefore, they boldly proclaim the emancipation of women has been or ought to be effected."

        I don't know what that means, if anything, as regards his canonization. I do think one of the main reasons he became a saint is that he had debased the whole process during his papacy, lowing the standards and making more saints than all other popes in history combined. I don't think he would have made it via the old process.

      • Fortunately, what you think of the matter is irrelevant. That's the beauty of the Catholic Church and the virtue of obedience. Our energy would be much better served focusing on our own holiness that speculating on the lack of it in others whom we've never met in person.

      • donttouchme

        I haven't said anything about JPII s holiness or lack of holiness. Just that he's observable a false teacher. I don't know what if anything that has to do with his holiness.

      • Christopher Freeman

        Can you cite an observable false teaching from Pope Saint John Paul II?

        And, if you're Catholic, how can you believe that the Catholic Church could canonize a false teacher? To believe that, you'd have to be a sedevacantist.

      • donttouchme

        I already have in these comments.

    • JPII is a saint now so we can safely say he wasn't a false teacher. If you want a better understanding of his life, I'd suggest reading "The Life of Saint Joseph as manifested by Our Lord, Jesus Christ to Maraia Cecilia Baij, O.S.B.". You can find it on Amazon. It's amazing. You will find in that book as well as in Mystical City of God how Mary submitted to the authority of Joseph in all matters even if God had already revealed to her what was to happen. At the same time, Joseph was completely obedient to the will of the father and in no small part strengthened by the prayers of our Holy Mother.

      • donttouchme

        If you can cite any passage in which JPII explains that Mary was subject to Joseph and/or what that means in practical terms, I'd be very interested. Otherwise, if the authors of those books are right, JPII is wrong: "The author of the Letter to the Ephesians sees no contradiction between an exhortation formulated in this way and the words: "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife" (5:22-23). The author knows that this way of speaking, so profoundly rooted in the customs and religious tradition of the time, is to be understood and carried out in a new way: as a "mutual subjection out of reverence for Christ" (cf. Eph 5:21). This is especially true because the husband is called the "head" of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church; he is so in order to give "himself up for her" (Eph 5:25), and giving himself up for her means giving up even his own life. However, whereas in the relationship between Christ and the Church the subjection is only on the part of the Church, in the relationship between husband and wife the "subjection" is not one-sided but mutual."

      • You asked a question, "But if St. Joseph was the head of the holy family in any meaningful way, how did Mary treat him? What were her duties toward him? What are the duties of women toward men in general?". I gave you my answer, read above mentioned book.

      • donttouchme

        I asked more than that. Thanks, but i dont really read books anymore, though I used to read a lot. St. Peter also gives an answer in 1 Peter 3. But these are at variance with the false teacher JPII, who tried to crush the authority and rights of fathers and men in general.

      • I hope you find what you are looking for.