St Joseph Patron of the Universal Church
by Mary Ann Zimmerman
St Joseph and his spiritual wonders. Many saints, popes, and mystics have understood the greatness of St. Joseph. What about you? Do you know St. Joseph? I recently learned that in the 16th century, the Holy Spirit used St. Teresa of Avila to bring about awareness of St. Joseph in the Church. For example, St André Bessette called on St. Joseph to build an Oratory in Montreal, Canada. Many people today will purchase a Home Sale Kit which consists of a 4” plastic statue of St. Joseph along with an instruction sheet and prayer. You don’t need to bury the statue but rather place him in the front window. When your house sells, take him with you to the new house to keep watch over your family.
What do we know about St. Joseph? Scripture tells us that he was betrothed to Mary (Luke 1:27) and later took Mary into his home as his wife. They travel to Bethlehem for the census (Luke 2:4) where Mary gave birth to Jesus. Luke 3:23 quotes Jesus as the "son of Joseph." This is last time that Joseph is named in Scripture. We know by faith that Joseph nurtured Jesus as a child and probably taught him the trade as a carpenter.
In 1870, St Joseph is named the “Patron Saint of the Universal Church”. In 1879, he appeared with Mary in an apparition of Knock, Ireland. Again, on Oct 13, 1917, he appeared at Fatima holding the child Jesus. Pope Benedict XV inserts the phrase, “Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse” into the Divine Praises. In 1955, Pope Pius XII establishes the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, to be celebrated on May 1. In 2013, Pope Francis inserts St. Joseph’s name into all Eucharistic Prayers and consecrated Vatican City State to St. Joseph. The list goes on.
Whoa! Did you know all that? Today, we need the spiritual fatherhood of St. Joseph to protect marriage and the family. He desires to bring Jesus to all nations, to protect the church against all dangers and to renew the church’s commitment to evangelization throughout the world. We need to bring St. Joseph onto the battlefield. He is the Terror of Demons! With his powerful fatherhood, incredible love for his spiritual children, and constant intercession, the church can be renewed as a light to the nations. All this text and more can be found in the book, “Consecration to St. Joseph” by Donald H. Calloway, MIC. Let St. Joseph lead you to a closer relationship with Jesus and Mary by consecrating yourself to his care.
Pray Hope and Don’t Worry by Padré Pio