|St. Joseph statue - St. Joseph's Church, Molokai|
A very blessed Feast of St. Joseph to all the Josephs especially those in my family and our beloved Pope Benedict (Joseph Ratzinger).
Prayer to St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church
O Most powerful patriarch, St. Joseph,
patron of that universal Church,
which has always invoked thee in anxieties and tribulations;
from the lofty seat of thy glory,
lovingly regard the Catholic world.
Let it move thy paternal heart to see the mystical spouse of Christ
and His vicar weakened by sorrow and persecuted by powerful enemies.
We beseech thee,
by the most bitter suffering thou didst experience on earth,
to wipe away in mercy the tears of the revered pontiff,
to defend and liberate him,
and to intercede with the Giver of peace and charity,
that every hostile power being overcome
and every error being destroyed,
the whole Church may serve the God of all blessings in perfect liberty.
ON THE HOLY MARRIAGE OF ST. JOSEPH AND MARY:
"Our Lady, in giving him her hand, gave him also her whole heart. Never did a wife love her husband so tenderly, so ardently, nor revere him more profoundly. Mary and Joseph says St. Bernardin of Siena, were but one heart and soul; they were two in one same mind, one same affection, and each of them was the other's second self, because Our Lady and he were, so to speak, only one person. The heart of Mary with that of Joseph, and the heart of Joseph with that of Mary, who ever could imagine a union so intimate, a grace so great!"
ST. JOSEPH, SAVIOR OF THE SAVIOR:
"...St. Joseph, ... had the honour of preserving the Divine Infant from the fury of Herod..."
ST. JOSEPH, VIRGIN:
"In the first place, he was a virgin, so much that his virginal purity yielded in brilliancy and merit to that of the Queen of Virgins alone. What supreme graces he must have received to preserve this angelical virtue in an age which despised virginity, and to guard this delicate lily without the slightest taint or stain on its brilliant whiteness! According to the Holy Fathers , he that preserves intact the treasure of virginity ranks highter than the angels. To what a degree of holiness must not St. Joseph have attained, who was the first to preserve it in the state of marriage, and preserved it with such fidelity!"
SPOUSE OF MARY:
"...According to St. John Damascene the dignity of Spouse of Mary is one so elevated that no human eloquence can express it. Neither is it possible worthily to celebrate the greatness of St. Joseph without understanding that of his holy Spouse, who is the Queen of the Saints and the Angels, and the Mother of God. Who, then is the form a true idea of the dignity of St. Joseph*, as also of the graces he holds in the consequence of that dignity..."
""St. Bernardin of Siena says that the virginal marriage of Mary and Joseph was only contracted on earth after having been decided in heaven, and that these two spouses were perfectly worthy one of the other. Mary surpassed all men and Angels in the sovereign plenitude of her graces; therefore it was necessary that, after her, Joseph should be the most holy human being that existed, that had ever existed, or that should ever exist upon earth..."
"...Now, there never were two hearts, two souls more united than those of Mary and Joseph; nor could this faithful Virgin ever remain satisfied with rendering half service to God. Therefore she used every endeavour that her other half, St. Joseph, should be supremely exalted in all sorts of perfections. To use St. Gregory's own words, she intensely desired that her spouse should be perfect in order that no part of herself should remain imperfect..."
*According to the ancient law, whoever espouses a queen becomes king by the fact of his marriage... notwithstanding...the Church has consecrated the custom of addressing this invocation principally to Jesus Christ."
Excerpts from The Divine Favors Granted to St. Joseph by Pere Binet, published by Tan Books