Saint Francis and His Band of Brothers
Francis was aware that they were a strange, perhaps frightening sight—twelve unkempt beggars walking purposefully along like a band of robbers. But he hoped their singing and their joy, the blessings they freely gave disarmed all fear and hostility.
They would always greet whomever they met with, "The Lord give you peace," as Jesus had revealed to Francis that they should do. And they eagerly sought to help out in the fields or wherever they could help, not seeking money or alms in return, but hoping for food at the end of the day. And so it went, the daily trek back to Assisi, their hearts filled with the joy that Jesus had shown.
—from the book Francis and Jesus by Murray Bodo
"We have close to us as much as Joseph had at Nazareth; we have our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but our poor eyes fail to see Him. Let us once become interior souls and we shall immediately see. In no better way can we enter into the Heart of our Lord than through Saint Joseph. Jesus and Mary are eager to pay the debts which they owe him for his devoted care of them, and their greatest pleasure is to fulfill his least desire. Let him, then, lead you by hand into the interior sanctuary of Jesus Eucharistic."
— St. Peter Julian Eymard
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"When God breathed His Spirit into Adam, it was not only to make him a living creature. That same Holy Spirit also gave him insight into the things of God. We, as creatures, cannot hope to understand the mysteries of our faith on our own, but with the gift of the Spirit we have an insight into those mysteries from within our own hearts."
— St. Francis de Sales, p. 88
AN EXCERPT FROM
Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, 'Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.'"
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Joseph (1st c.) was a descendant of Israel's King David and a carpenter by trade. Scripture tells us that he was a just and virtuous man who was betrothed to wed the young Blessed Virgin Mary. Upon finding her pregnant with the Son of God, Joseph, after a time of uncertainty, was encouraged by an angel to continue with the marriage plans. Because of his complete faithfulness and obedience to the will of God, St. Joseph was chosen to become the spouse of the Mother of God and the adoptive father of Jesus Christ. As the divinely-appointed earthly guardian and protector of the Holy Family, St. Joseph provided and cared for the material needs of Mary and the Child Jesus. St. Joseph is the patron saint of many causes, especially fathers, families, married couples, children, pregnant women, workers, craftsmen, against doubt, the dying, and a happy and holy death. He is also the guardian and protector of the Universal Church. He has two feast days: St. Joseph the Husband of Mary on March 19th, and St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st.
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Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary
(? – ?)
The Bible pays Joseph the highest compliment: he was a "just" man. The quality meant a lot more than faithfulness in paying debts.
When the Bible speaks of God "justifying" someone, it means that God, the all-holy or "righteous" one, so transforms a person that the individual shares somehow in God's own holiness, and hence it is really "right" for God to love him or her. In other words, God is not playing games, acting as if we were lovable when we are not.
By saying Joseph was "just," the Bible means that he was one who was completely open to all that God wanted to do for him. He became holy by opening himself totally to God.
The rest we can easily surmise. Think of the kind of love with which he wooed and won Mary, and the depth of the love they shared during their marriage.
It is no contradiction of Joseph's manly holiness that he decided to divorce Mary when she was found to be with child. The important words of the Bible are that he planned to do this "quietly" because he was "a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame" (Matthew 1:19).
The just man was simply, joyfully, wholeheartedly obedient to God—in marrying Mary, in naming Jesus, in shepherding the precious pair to Egypt, in bringing them to Nazareth, in the undetermined number of years of quiet faith and courage.
The Bible tells us nothing of Joseph in the years after the return to Nazareth except the incident of finding Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41–51). Perhaps this can be taken to mean that God wants us to realize that the holiest family was like every other family, that the circumstances of life for the holiest family were like those of every family, so that when Jesus' mysterious nature began to appear, people couldn't believe that he came from such humble beginnings: "Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary…?" (Matthew 13:55a). It was almost as indignant as "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" (John 1:46b).
Saint Joseph is the Patron Saint of:
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reading 1 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16
The LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
"Go, tell my servant David,
'When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'"
Responsorial Psalm Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29
R. (37) The son of David will live for ever.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. The son of David will live for ever.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations."
R. The son of David will live for ever.
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm."
R. The son of David will live for ever.
Reading 2 Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22
Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith,
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
Verse Before THE gOSPEL Ps 84:5
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord;
they never cease to praise you.
Gospel Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
or Lk 2:41-51a
Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
"Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety."
And he said to them,
"Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.
Meditation: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24
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Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)
Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid. (Matthew 1:20)
Say you're faced with a big decision—whether to say yes to marriage or an adoption, to religious life, a career change, or a move. Or you're wrestling with a relationship issue, like how to respond to a friend who is making harmful choices. What do you do? Well, you reason it out. You seek counsel—from Scripture, Church teaching, and competent advisors. You pray for guidance—a lot. Maybe you ask others to pray too. Finally, you settle on a course of action.
But what if, after you had arrived at your carefully considered decision, God asked you to overturn it? Could you let it go? This is the hard choice that Joseph, whom the Bible called a "righteous man," faced (Matthew 1:19).
Righteous. That word speaks volumes. It means that Joseph had set his heart on seeking God and doing his will. Undoubtedly, he had focused his life on the two greatest commandments: "Love the Lord, your God" and "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). And so, faced with an unthinkable dilemma—Mary, who was beyond reproach, ending up pregnant— Joseph struggled to find a solution that did right both by her and by the Law of Moses. A quiet divorce seemed the way to go.
What courage it took to scrap this prayerful decision and say yes to a mysterious plan! No wonder the angel's first words to Joseph are "Do not be afraid" (Matthew 1:20)! Don't be afraid to ignore the gossip surrounding Mary's pregnancy. Don't worry about the job being too big for you. Don't be afraid to take the next step. Joseph responded in faith. He himself rose to the challenge of welcoming God's own Son into his home. And God, who is never outdone in generosity, rewarded him with a unique experience of what it means to know Emmanuel, "God is with us" (Matthew 1:23).
Do you want to know that God is with you? Then follow Joseph. Put God first. Try to seek him with all your heart. Bring him your decisions and dilemmas; listen for his guidance. Don't be afraid! As surely as he was with Joseph, God is with you.
"Lord, I bring you all my plans and expectations. Show me your way."
2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
The Word Spoke: "I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever."
"He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist."
The late Stephen Hawking, a cosmologist and physicist did a good job explaining things in theory with mathematics, including how the universe came from nothing. But he said he could not determine what was before that. This is where faith comes in. God called into existence life...from nothing. Are you at that nothing point? God can create from there.
Let us pray: "The son of David will live for ever. "He shall say of me, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.' Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm." Be kind to our creator, our Father in Heaven, because our covenant has been established. His promise extended to us this very day, to every baptized soul.
In the Holy Gospel, we heard: "Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid
to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her."
We could spend all day pondering what the angel said to Joseph. But real quick, because we don't got much time, right? LOL,
Do Not Be Afraid: Over and over again we hear this in the Holy Scripture, someone saying it happens 365 times in some fashion. But when an angel has to say it when appearing means, something terrible is happening for the world...terribly good. Our little souls can't hardly handle the appearance of something from Heaven, in this case, some one.
Son of David: Jesus chooses a father, from the lineage of David, who would do great things, like becoming the stone that knocked down the giant. Something so little doing such great things...humility. Jesus chose Joseph, the most humble and Mary, the most humble of all of God's creations. And from these two, humility is born and raised. From a tree on a mount, this fruit was born where it was not thriving in the world...humbleness.
Take Mary...your wife...into your home. Jesus told the beloved disciple to take Mary as his mother...into his home, while he was dying on the cross.
Joseph had to take Mary in. What we don't know is why? Was a betrothal process a long one? Some say yes. But another truth to fathom is the purity and chastity of a saint. A saint said that in a vision, they had seen Joseph being picked on by his brothers, i.e., as he prayed, with arms stretched open, they would often come and kick him in the back, sometimes repeatedly until he would snap out of his prayer/ecstasy. Just like the Joseph in the bible, hated for being the master dreamer. A saint said that the 12 yr. old Joseph had promised to be chaste, pure, a virgin, just like Mother Mary had taken a vow as she was said to have been raised in a temple, a pure virgin. So a saint marries a saint. And what is born? The Holy Spirit conceives, something out of nothing.
What have we to learn of all this?
Saint Joseph is a forgotten saint. Not super popular. Not really known. So humble, and so forgotten. So misunderstood. So ridiculed and depicted as a fool. But the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. Humility is still around. Jesus is always with us as we traverse this world and into the eternal world He has created out of nothing. I am sent to you, to proclaim one truth: Jesus would have not created you if it weren't for love. He knows you personally. He cares when no one else does. He took Joseph and loved him more than Joseph could love Him. Joseph protected Jesus with his life. Joseph offered all he had to Jesus...his life. Joseph never left his post as being the dad for the Father, being the protector and co-lover.
Nowadays, the dad/father figure is not regarded as a high position, as high priest, of sacrificial offering...of life.
It is to the demise of children. Hearts wilt. But our Lord still offers hope.
It is our job to be the love of God. But not a job, but Christ. Christ must live in us. We must offer our lives like Joseph and Mary. They had prayed something very strange: for the coming of the Messiah, and for God to let them be a part of salvation history.
History is in the making.
And God hears our prayers....
Feast of Saint Joseph
"The virtuous lives of the saints are like a
measuring line stretched over our souls to make sure our lives take the proper shape and measure up to their good example. When we celebrate the lives of the saints, let us look to them as giving us the pattern our lives should take."
On this day five years ago, Pope Francis was officially installed in St. Peter's Square as the successor of St. Peter and the bishop of Rome. At that Mass, he preached about the saintly example of
St. Joseph, "a just man" as the Gospel of Matthew
Praying with Saint Anthony
Heavenly Father, help me imitate the integrity of
St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
"This prayer was found in the 50th year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent from the pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy or be burned in any fire or be overpowered in battle. Say for nine mornings for anything you desire. It has never been known to fail."
ANCIENT PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.
Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.