Come let us worship Christ the Lord
who was honored to be known as the son of a carpenter, alleluia.
"The Carpenter's Family"
by Rose Myra Phillips
He must have been a very busy man
Joseph of Nazareth with plane and saw
Making each meitre and each dovetail join
Into a finished work without a flaw.
But now and then he'd pause a bit and smile
(As any loving Father might have done)
At Jesus playing with sweet-ribboned wood
From smoothed boards, once tall trees on Lebanon.
I think that Mary often watched the two...
Whenever hammer-blows caused her to start
With terror, Jesus patted her pale cheek
And laid His shining head against her heart.
In the beautiful litany of St. Joseph, we call upon our spiritual Father under many varied titles:
Guardian of Virgins…
Head of the Holy Family…
Mirror of Patience….
Each invocation is striking in its individuality and yet seamlessly part of the whole in painting for us, by the strokes of these titles, the figure of the greatest and last of the patriarchs. Any of these is worthy to be the subject of our meditation, but one that brings itself to the forefront on this occasion is: “Christi Defensor Sedule”, Zealous Defender of Christ.
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Mother of God and Foster Father of Jesus, is our father in a special way. To him we confide our temporal wants, to him we confide our vocations, to him do we go when in need spiritually or temporally. Each year, we pray a novena leading up to his feastday, thanking him for his care of our Community and entrusting to him our petitions.
“The dignity and glory of St. Joseph is such
that the Eternal Father conferred upon him with greatest liberality,
a likeness to His own supremacy over his incarnate Son.”
- St. Bernadine of Siena
"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