Thursday is a much more important feast day in the Church, that of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary, the Mother of God, and the earthly father of Jesus.
Some reflections from Pope John Paul II on the feast of St. Joseph, the model for workers, husbands, and fathers, as well as the holy protector of the family.
“Here is the wise and faithful servant, whom the Lord has put in charge of his household” (cf. Lk 12: 42).
This is how today’s liturgy presents St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Guardian of the Redeemer. He was the wise and faithful servant who, with obedient docility, accepted the will of the Lord, who entrusted him with “his” family on earth to watch over it with daily devotion.
St Joseph persevered in this mission with fidelity and love. The Church, therefore, offers him to us as an exceptional model of service to Christ and to his mysterious plan of salvation. And she calls upon him as the special patron and protector of the whole family of believers. In a special way, Joseph is presented to us on his feast day as the saint under whose powerful protection divine Providence has wished to place the persons and ministry of all who are called to be “fathers” and “guardians” among the Christian people.” -JPII 1991
“We could say of Joseph what was said of Mary by her cousin Elizabeth: “Blessed are you who believed”.
Actually the liturgy of today’s feast compares Joseph’s faith to that of Abraham, whom the Apostle speaks of as the father of our faith (cf. Rom 4:16-18). “I have made you the father of many nations”, we read in the Letter to the Romans (4:17). In truth, harking back to the faith of Abraham are not only the followers of the Old Covenant, the Israelites, not only Christians, but also the Muslims.
Joseph, a humble carpenter of Nazareth is heir to this faith. At the same time, the God already known to Israel through the faith of Abraham unveils for him, as he had first done for Mary, the mystery that was not revealed to Abraham, the mystery for which the Old Testament was gradually preparing all generations.
Joseph, a son of Israel, a just man, becomes the trustee of the divine mystery, which has entered into his life as a reality, which has come under the roof of his house–through Mary.
Joseph remained faithful to the mystery entrusted to him by God.
Today, 19 March, the Church gathers around Joseph of Nazareth. The Church admires the simplicity and the depth of his faith. She admires and venerates his rectitude, his humility, his courage. How many values God entrusted to Joseph in his humble and hidden life as an artisan of Nazareth! He entrusted to him his own eternal Son, who in the house of Joseph embraced all that constitutes the truth of the Son of man. To Joseph God entrusted Mary, her virginity and her maternity–her virginal maternity. He entrusted to him the Holy Family. God entrusted to Joseph what is most holy in the whole history of creation, and that humble man, that carpenter, did not disappoint God’s trust. To the very end he showed himself faithful, thoughtful, provident, solicitous–after the model of the eternal Father himself.
— the area of family life, and
— the area of human work.” – JPII, 1996
Novena to St. Joseph
This is a very powerful novena, which has been known to answer many prayers.
Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.
Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:
(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.