March 19: The Feast Day of One of My Favorite Saints

Today marks the feast day of one of my favorite saints, St. Joseph. I have turned to St. Joseph many times for help and comfort throughout the difficulties of my life. One of my fondest memories of praying to St. Joseph took place during my honeymoon in Quebec.  On one of the days we decided to visit the famous St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal.  I was mesmerized by the sheer enormity (2nd largest dome after St. Peter's in Rome)  of the basilica as I felt strangely at home and out of place.  Home because I was near one of my favorite saints, out of place because I literally was like a tiny ant in the vastness of the basilica's grandeur. I remember praying to him there and receiving a quiet assurance that he would take care of me.  I can't describe the feeling in any great detail because it was nothing spectacular. But in the still darkness of the oratory St. Joseph was claiming me as one of his own children.  Since that moment I have turned to this great saint often invoking his intercession as I seek to grow in holiness in my vocation as a husband. 
So what made St. Joseph such a great saint and why should we pray for his intercession? I think that the greatest characteristic of St. Joseph was his unwavering trust and obedience to the will of God as Jean-Pierre De Caussade writes in, Abandonment to Divine Providence

"...What was the bread that nourished the faith of Mary and Joseph? It was the sacrament of the moment. But what did they experience apparently filled with nothing but humdrum happenings? On the surface it was similar to that of everyone around them,  but faith piercing the superficialities, disclosed that God was accomplishing very great things...God reveals himself to the humble under the lowliest of disguises, but to the proud, who never look below the surface, fail to find him even in his greatest manifestations."  (p. 23-24)

St. Joseph also possessed several great virtues such as humility, diligence, (in his work as a carpenter) courage, (he travelled to Egypt), devotion, (he was known throughout Nazareth for his faith), mercy, (he wanted to shield Mary from harm when he taught that she conceived a child out of wedlock), protectiveness, and obedience.  (listening to the Angel to go to Egypt to escape Herod)  In today's culture where there is a crisis of good male role models St. Joseph's timely virtues and example can be something that all men can aspire to. The great news is that we do have a powerful saint in heaven who has already showed us the way.  It is my prayer that we all take the time today and everyday to pray and honor this great saint!

If you are interested in reading more about St. Joseph click here and here to read two of my posts.


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