"He [St. Joseph] belongs to the working-class,
and he bore the burdens of poverty for himself and the Holy Family,
whose tender and vigilant head he was."
- Pope Pius XI
Excerpt taken from the Apostolic Exhrotation "Redemptoris Custos" on the Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church by St. John Paul II:
WORK AS AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE
Work was the daily expression of love in the life of the Family of Nazareth. The Gospel specifies the kind of work Joseph did in order to support his family: he was a carpenter. This simple word sums up Joseph's entire life. For Jesus, these were hidden years, the years to which Luke refers after recounting the episode that occurred in the Temple: "And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them" (Lk 2:51). This "submission" or obedience of Jesus in the house of Nazareth should be understood as a sharing in the work of Joseph. Having learned the work of his presumed father, he was known as "the carpenter's son."
Build Him a home in my heart; Father Dear,
Build Jesus a home in my heart.
Shave off all that keeps me from loving aright
The Lord of the World, Whom your lips kissed goodnight.
Cut out all the knots of self-love, and my thoughts
Make polished for Him in His home in my heart.
Build Jesus a home in my heart, Joseph Just,
As a cradle to hold Him always.
Set right the beams of my penance and make
Of my heart a sweet refuge where Jesus may stay.
With your hands to forge me, to finish from start,
I’ll know He’ll rest, safe, in His home in my heart.
- A Marian Sister of Santa Rosa
Said Joseph to Mary,
“I dreamed a dream
Of a quaking rock
And a maid’s shrill laugh
At crow of cock.
I saw lost keys
As it were, of a realm,
Then a fisherman’s boat
With an empty helm.”
Said Mary to Joseph,
“I dreamed too.
Thirty coins bled
Like a heart in grief
While a swart thief fled--
In a barren plot
And our little Son crying,
Sister Mary Immaculate (p. 98 Guardian of God’s Lillies)
“Knowing by experience St. Joseph’s astonishing influence with God,
I would wish to persuade everyone to honor him with particular devotion.
I have always seen those who honored him in a special manner
make progress in virtue, for this heavenly protector favors in a striking manner the spiritual advancement of souls who commend themselves to him.”
- St. Teresa of Avila
The novena to St. Joseph - very dear to our hearts - begins today. We invite you to join us in praying to the Patron and Father of the Universial Church in preparation for his feast day
Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph,
we love Thee, save souls!
"For every believer, and especially for Christian families, the humble dwelling place in Nazareth is an authentic school of the Gospel. Here we admire, put into practice, the divine plan to make the family an intimate community of life and love; here we learn that every Christian family is called to be a small “domestic church” that must shine with the Gospel virtues. Recollection and prayer, mutual understanding and respect, personal discipline and community asceticism and a spirit of sacrifice, work and solidarity are typical features that make the family of Nazareth a model for every home."
– St. John Paul II, Angelus, December 30, 2001
Litany of the Holy Family
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
"Remaining little before God ... is to recognize our nothingness,
to expect everything from God, as a little child expects everything from his or her father."
"It is so sweet to call God our Father!"
- St. Therese of Lisieux
O saintly Workman, Model of all workers,
Teach us the lessons of good Christian living,
That all our labor and our very workshops may be made holy!
- Hymn at Matins
St. Joseph is also a particular model for our religious community. We are, by the essential elements of our charism, a Marian, Ecclesial, and Eucharistic community. These facets of our spirit find expression in, among other areas: our total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, daily Eucharistic Adoration, and praying for priests, respectively. In each of these, we can look to St. Joseph to learn how to live our consecrated lives in a way most pleasing to Our Beloved Jesus.
Hail Joseph, guardian of all those who have embraced holy virginity ...
St. Joseph as the Model of Religious
It is our great pleasure and privilege to honor our beloved spiritual father, St. Joseph, in this, his month (and his year!). He, with Our Blessed Mother and St. Louis Marie de Montfort, is a principal patron of our community. But surely, it is only right and just that he has a certain pride of place in patronage for any religious house; he is, after all, the “protector of virgins”—as he is acclaimed in his litany.
"The Church invokes St. Joseph as her Patron and Protector through her unshakable trust that he to whom Christ willed to confide the care and protection of his own frail human childhood, will continue from heaven to perform his protective task in order to guide and defend the Mystical Body of Christ himself, which is always weak, always under attack, always in a state of peril." - St. Pope Paul VI