Theologians attribute to God the cult of Latria—that of adoration. Then to Mary that of Hyperdulia—the highest veneration. To the saints is attributed Dulia—the cult of veneration. Finally, good Saint Joseph has the special class of homage and veneration titled that of Protodulia—this means, the first in the cult of veneration! In a certain sense, Saint Joseph is in a class by himself, due to his holiness, his greatness, and his sublime mission!
Saint Bernardine of Siena and Saint Francis de Sales pointed out that God will always give to each person the specific graces necessary to carry out with faithfulness his specific mission or vocation in life. The Sacrament of Marriage will endow the couple with sufficient graces to love one another until death do they part, to be faithful until the end and to accept and raise children in the Fear of the Lord and love for His holy will. The Sacrament of Holy Orders will capacitate the man to carry out his priestly duties of preaching, celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and reconciling souls to God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation with grace and perfection. Of course those who receive such Sacraments must correspond faithfully to the specific graces related to those Sacraments.
SAINT JOSEPH AND HIS MISSION. Given that good Saint Joseph was called to a most sublime mission, as a result of this God certainly endowed Saint Joseph with corresponding graces commensurate with his most lofty mission. In other words, God will never command anybody to carry out a mission—be it small or sublime—without endowing that person with sufficient graces to carry out that mission faithfully and with great love.
SAINT JOSEPH’S TWO SUBLIME OBLIGATIONS IN HIS UNIQUE MISSION AND VOCATION. After Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, nobody was ever given such a sublime mission and vocation as holy Saint Joseph. Actually, Saint Joseph was given two of the most sublime obligations in the history of humanity! What were these? Saint Joseph was called to be the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Furthermore, Saint Joseph was also called by God to be the foster-father of Jesus, the Son of the living God. What a sublime mission and vocation, that of good Saint Joseph.
THE BEST OF TWO WORLDS! This being the case, Saint Joseph was by far the best husband in the history of humanity. Therefore, all men who have chosen that most sublime vocation of Holy Matrimony should humbly implore good Saint Joseph for the grace to live out their vocation as husbands. Without a shadow of a doubt, if any man has chosen the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and humbly invokes and calls upon the intercession of good Saint Joseph, this holy Saint will attain for him extraordinary graces. Saint Teresa of Avila says that all the saints have power to help us. However, she never recalls Saint Joseph to ever have failed her upon invoking his holy presence. Moreover, Saint Teresa says that some saints delay in their intercession, but not so with good Saint Joseph. He acts quickly and efficaciously!
BEST OF FATHERS. Not only is Saint Joseph the best of all husbands, but he is also the best of all fathers. Once again, men who have chosen the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony and the openness to life, that of procreation and having children, must strive to be the best of fathers. For this reason, these men should humbly cry out and implore the good Saint Joseph for the grace to carry out with love, dedication, sacrifice, and a willingness to suffer, their sublime vocation as fathers. The primary obligation of Christian fathers is to help their children and, of course, their wives to arrive safely home in heaven.
PROTECT WIFE AND CHILDREN. One of the highlights of the life of good Saint Joseph was that he not only provided for the Holy Family, but he also protected them. This is seen most clearly when the wicked and jealous King Herod proposed to eliminate all of the male children two years and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. This Herod did to many Holy Innocents! However, good Saint Joseph, warned in a dream by an angel, rose quickly in the depths of the cold night, and taking both Mary and the Child Jesus, fled to Egypt until the King died and the danger was over.
SAINT JOSEPH HELP US: HUSBANDS AND FATHERS!!! Now more than ever there are so many dangers and perils for the family, that we truly need good Saint Joseph more than ever. Just a few of the dangers and extreme perils that modern fathers must confront and vanquish with the help of good Saint Joseph are the following: materialism, hedonism, pornography, despair, gang-activity, the gay-agenda, the divorce mentality, euthanasia, agnosticism and militant atheism, rebellion and disobedience (especially among the young), rampant liberalism, moral relativism, and massive confusion. Now more than ever, men who are called to the family life, men who are called to love their wives, men who are called to love and defend their children, must lift up their eyes, their mind, their heart and their soul to the Glorious Saint Joseph. Never was it known that anyone who fled to the protection of Glorious Saint Joseph was left unaided!
CONFIDENCE IN GREAT SAINT JOSEPH. So may we all turn to this great saint, who has been given so many glorious titles—Patron of fathers, Patron of husbands, Patron of families, Ornament of the domestic life, Model for workers, Model of patience and purity, Master of the Interior Life (that of prayer), Terror of demons, Model of obedience, and Patron of a holy and happy death—and humbly implore him to turn to Mary, his wife and our spiritual Mother, and to Jesus, our Lord God and Savior, and beg for us the most special grace of protection from all evil, especially that of sin, and the grace to live holy lives and die a holy death. May we be with you, Saint Joseph, in heaven to praise and glorify the Trinity forever and ever. Amen.
This post first appeared on Fr.Broom.com and is shared with permission.
Image credit: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo / Public domain