Patron of the Dominican Community of the
Espousals of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, Jan 23
Feast of St. Joseph, March 19
In response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a longer history.
In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ. The principal feast day of Saint Joseph is March 19, Saint Joseph's Day. Among Biblical saints, the veneration of Saint Joseph came very late to the Catholic Church. Pope Pius IX declared him patron of the universal Church.
Saint Joseph, also referred to as Joseph the Betrothed and as Joseph of Nazareth, was the foster-father of Jesus, according to the New Testament (Matthew 1:16; Luke 3:23). Not much is known of Joseph's life on Earth, except that he was "of the House of David" and lived in the town of Nazareth. His date of death is unknown, though he was still living when Jesus was twelve years old.
He was betrothed to Mary at the time that Mary conceived Jesus. Luke says that he lived at Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2:4); however, according to Matthew, it was only after the return from Egypt that he settled in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23). He is called a "just man" (Matthew 1:19). He was by trade a carpenter (Matthew 13:55). He is last mentioned in connection with the journey to Jerusalem, when Jesus was twelve years old. It is probable that Joseph died before Jesus entered on his public ministry because only Mary was present at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee, and he is not described at the crucifixion along with Mary (John 19:25). In addition Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus, a duty that would have fallen to Saint Joseph had he been alive. It is also Catholic Tradition that Saint Joseph did indeed pass on before the beginning of Jesus Christ's ministry began, which does concur with scripture.
In many icons of the Nativity, Joseph is shown being tempted by the Devil (depicted as an old man with furled wings) to break off his betrothal, and resisting that temptation.
Also in the imagery of the Christian church, statues of Joseph depict his staff topped with flowers, recalling the account of how Mary's spouse was chosen. Among the collected walking sticks of widowers in Israel, Joseph was distinguished when his staff burst into flower.
Joseph is the patron saint of various things and places. Pope Pius IX proclaimed him the patron of the Universal Church on December 8, 1870. Joseph is the patron against doubt and hesitation, as well as the patron saint of fighting communism, and of a happy death.
Joseph is the patron saint of the Americas and the New World; of the countries China, Canada, Korea, Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Bohemia, Croatia, Peru, Vietnam; of the regions Carinthia, Syria, Tyrol, Sicily; of the cities and/or dioceses of Florence, Turin, Baton Rouge, Buffalo, Cheyenne, Louisville, Nashville, San Jose, Sioux Falls, etc.
Saint Joseph also protects families, fathers, expectant mothers (pregnant women), travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers and working people in general.
Saint Joseph is also the Patron Saint of our Dominican community. We strive to obtain all the God given virtues he beholds. We look to Saint Joseph for his fatherly strength, perseverance and guidance. Second only to Blessed Mother, he is the Saint of all saints and was honored by God to be the Head of the Holy Family. We indeed need his protection in these times of uncertainty, times that see our Holy Mother Church being attacked by modernism and heretics. A time that must be combated by the Mass and all the sacraments, surrender to Jesus Christ with whole heart and body, prayer and fasting and strive to live as the saints did, especially Our Lady and Saint Joseph. We move forward with Saint Joseph, we have faith that we will not be erroneous. He is the Patron of the Universal (Catholic) Church, he will guide us to the Truth, the Truth that is the Holy Trinity and the One Holy Catholic Church and all her pious teachings.
Today, the Catholic Church is going through a period of purification. The devil has attacked on all ends. He does this because the Catholic Church holds the Truth. It is the Church, Jesus Christ himself began. It is the Catholic Church that brings salvation to those who want it through the sacraments and holiness. The Catholic faith has always given us dogmas and guidelines (10 Commandment, 6 Laws of the Church), so we can go to heaven and praise God for eternity. Today, the Devil has fought hard to remove what once was held as sacred, and his influence has infiltrated our Holy Mother Church . It is now time to follow the teachings and traditions more than ever. Numerous, if not all, of the modern teachings of men have penetrated many members of the hierarchy and religious of the Catholic Church, and have brought them to error. The Dominican Community of the Holy Face of Jesus strive to emulate the holiness of Saint Joseph, to not succumb to teachings that are irreverent and less than holy for God. We have come to realize that any teaching that would take away from God is from Satan, and we are all obliged to never give less to God. Saint Joseph has guided us, through our prayers and opened our hearts to do the will of God and not our own.
Saint Joseph, Pray for us
Devotion to Saint Joseph
Joseph was "a just man". This praise bestowed by the Holy Ghost, and the privilege of having been chosen by God to be the foster-father of Jesus and the Spouse of the Virgin Mother, are the foundations of the honor paid to St. Joseph by the Church. So well-grounded are these foundations that it is not a little surprising that the cult of St. Joseph was so slow in winning recognition. Foremost among the causes of this is the fact that "during the first centuries of the Church's existence, it was only the martyrs who enjoyed veneration" (Kellner). Far from being ignored or passed over in silence during the early Christian ages, St. Joseph's prerogatives were occasionally descanted upon by the Fathers; even such eulogies as cannot be attributed to the writers among whose works they found admittance bear witness that the ideas and devotion therein expressed were familiar, not only to the theologians and preachers, and must have been readily welcomed by the people. The earliest traces of public recognition of the sanctity of St. Joseph are to be found in the East. His feast, if we may trust the assertions of Papebroch, was kept by the Copts as early as the beginning of the fourth century. Nicephorus Callistus tells likewise -- on what authority we do not know -- that in the great basilica erected at Bethlehem by St. Helena, there was a gorgeous oratory dedicated to the honor of our saint. Certain it is, at all events, that the feast of "Joseph the Carpenter" is entered, on July 20, in one of the old Coptic Calendars in our possession, as also in a Synazarium of the eighth and ninth century published by Cardinal Mai (Script. Vet. Nova Coll., IV, 15 sqq.). Greek menologies of a later date at least mention St. Joseph on 25 or 26 of December, and a twofold commemoration of him along with other saints was made on the two Sundays next before and after Christmas.
In the West the name of the foster-father of Our Lord (Nutritor Domini) appears in local martyrologies of the ninth and tenth centuries, and we find in 1129, for the first time, a church dedicated to his honor at Bologna. The devotion, then merely private, as it seems, gained a great impetus owing to the influence and zeal of such saintly persons as St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gertrude (d. 1310), and St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373). According to Benedict XIV (De Serv. Dei beatif., I, iv, n. 11; xx, n. 17), "the general opinion of the learned is that the Fathers of Carmel were the first to import from the East into the West the laudable practice of giving the fullest cultus to St. Joseph". His feast, introduced towards the end shortly afterwards, into the Dominican Calendar, gradually gained a foothold in various dioceses of Western Europe. Among the most zealous promoters of the devotion at epoch, St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419), Peter d'Ailly (d. 1420), St. Bernadine of Siena (d. 1444), and Jehan Charlier Gerson (d. 1429) deserve an especial mention. Gerson, who had, in 1400, composed an Office of the Espousals of Joseph particularly at the Council of Constance (1414), in promoting the public recognition of the cult of St. Joseph. Only under the pontificate of Sixtus IV (1471-84), were the efforts of these holy men rewarded by Roman Calendar (19 March). From that time the devotion acquired greater and greater popularity, the dignity of the feast keeping pace with this steady growth. At first only a festum simplex, it was soon elevated to a double rite by Innocent VIII (1484-92), declared by Gregory XV, in 1621, a festival of obligation, at the instance of the Emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I and of King Charles II of Spain, and raised to the rank of a double of the second class by Clement XI (1700-21). Further, Benedict XIII, in 1726, inserted the name into the Litany of the Saints.
One festival in the year, however, was not deemed enough to satisfy the piety of the people. The feast of the Espousals of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, so strenuously advocated by Gerson, and permitted first by Paul III to the Franciscans, then to other religious orders and individual dioceses, was, in 1725, granted to all countries that solicited it, a proper Office, compiled by the Dominican Pierto Aurato, being assigned, and the day appointed being 23 January. Nor was this all, for the reformed Order of Carmelites, into which St. Teresa had infused her great devotion to the foster-father of Jesus, chose him, in 1621, for their patron, and in 1689, were allowed to celebrate the feast of his Patronage on the third Sunday after Easter. This feast, soon, adopted throughout the Spanish Kingdom, was later on extended to all states and dioceses which asked for the privilege. No devotion, perhaps, has grown so universal, none seems to have appealed so forcibly to the heart of the Christian people, and particularly of the laboring classes, during the nineteenth century, as that of St. Joseph.
This wonderful and unprecedented increase of popularity called for a new luster to be added to the cult of the saint. Accordingly, one of the first acts of the pontificate of Pius IX, himself singularly devoted to St. Joseph, was to extend to the whole Church the feast of the Patronage (1847), and in December, 1870, according to the wishes of the bishops and of all the faithful, he solemnly declared the Holy Patriarch Joseph, patron of the Catholic Church, and enjoined that his feast (19 March) should henceforth be celebrated as a double of the first class (but without octave, on account of Lent). Following the footsteps of their predecessor, Leo XIII and Pius X have shown an equal desire to add their own jewel to the crown of St. Joseph: the former, by permitting on certain days the reading of the votive Office of the saint; and the latter by approving, on 18 March, 1909, a litany in honor of him whose name he had received in baptism. Text Courtesy of New Advent
"Go To Joseph" written by St. Theresa of Avila