Today, 19 March, the Church is celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph, the servant of God who was chosen by God as the husband of Mary and the loving foster father of Jesus. Many parishes who bear the name of St. Joseph as their patron saint are now busy celebrating their Feast Day with various programs and initiatives that make the day even more memorable – most especially for the pious devotees of those who love and witness to the saint’s virtues. Celebrating his sainthood keeps their lives inspired by St. Joseph with a total dedication, devotion and prayers.
St. Joseph was a man of substance of whom we can be proud to imitate his interior life and virtues. As a faithful servant of God, he was a man of simplicity and his few words convey to us today a deeper message about the necessity and importance in life of the value of silence. He was rarely mentioned in the bible however he had a huge role in the Church and in people’s lives. In fact, he is the protector saint of a person’s vocation – just as he protected and loved Mary and Jesus, his family for the rest of his life.
We ask St. Joseph through his intercession to be like him as a faithful servant of God. He was a good worker as a carpenter, a loving husband of Mary, and a foster father to Jesus. He supported his family with a dignified work and was a good, holy labourer of God. Together with St Annibale, who on this day in 1887 founded our Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Zeal (FDZ) in Messina, Italy, we continue to pray that St. Joseph may intercede for us in our daily activities of following God with fidelity, love, total trust, commitment and dedication to the ministry entrusted to us.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Prayer to St. Joseph to obtain the interior virtue
O glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph,
I greet you as God’s chosen one from among men and
as one who is filled with all the enlightenment, gifts,
privileges and graces from your mother’s womb.
Your heart was always a garden blossoming
with the most excellent virtue,
and the Holy Spirit shared with you abundantly His divine holiness.
You were an exemplary model of the interior life,
since then you were not only exteriorly the object of edification for all,
but interiorly you also pleased the Supreme God so much so
that He chose you as a spouse of the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
as a virgin father of the Word made man: Jesus.
Most glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph,
I, a poor sinner, desiring to convert myself wholly to God,
come to you and ask you to be my master and guide in the interior life.
What will I gain from all the exercises of piety,
religious practices, labours, sacrifices, any observance
and even the sacraments, if my intention
is not right, if my spirit not sincere, if I do not truly
seek to please God?
What will be my profit in everything and in any devotion,
if internally I cherish my passions
and do not firmly resolve to put an end to my sins?
O Most loving Patriarch, St. Joseph,
draw me interiorly to the divine service.
Enlighten my intellect and attract my will to the pure love of Jesus.
May I look not for applause and admiration, sympathy,
the satisfaction of loving oneself,
but only Jesus naked and crucified.
Obtain for me a true spirit of prayer and mortification,
a true detachment from everything and everyone,
a true and angelic chastity of life,
and a profound humility of heart, so that through this royal
and sublime way of the cross and of the interior virtue,
I may arrive at the beautiful union of pure love
with Jesus, my highest and only good.
(St. Hannibal Mary. United in Prayer, pp 177-178)
Image Credit: turnbacktogod.com