Icon of Saint Joseph with the child Jesus

Fr. Paul Mark shares on the Saint who Models the Contemplative life: “The solemnity of Saint Joseph is celebrated each year on March 19; hence the Church dedicates March in his honor.
Saint Joseph is a latecomer to the Church’s liturgical and devotional life. Only in the last few centuries has Saint Joseph’s rightful place in salvation history been more clearly recognized. It wasn’t until the 17th century that his solemnity was placed on the Church’s universal calendar. And only in the 19th century was Saint Joseph declared the patron of the Universal Church. Finally, at Vatican II the name of Saint Joseph was added to the Roman Eucharistic Canon.
It is hard to imagine that it took so long to recognize the role Saint Joseph has in the Church’s life in proclaiming the Kerygma of faith since many Catholic Churches in the USA built in the 19th century and later had side altars dedicated to Saint Joseph.
Saint Joseph is known as a “just” man, meaning he was faithful in living the Torah. To live the Torah meant to be in the presence of God, to embrace the will of God in one’s life, and to honor everyone with respect. These same sentiments can be used to describe the Blessed Virgin. No wonder then that these two lovers of the Torah were espoused.
Saint Matthew’s gospel has the most to say about Saint Joseph and reveals Joseph’s humanity. He did not understand initially the pregnancy of his espoused wife and he was afraid. But God spoke to Joseph in dreams through an angel three times. Each time Joseph responded by obeying the instructions. Furthermore, the gospel never records any words of Joseph. So, the Church considers Saint Joseph’s silence and obedience as a model of the contemplative life, the Church always at prayer.
Ite ad Joseph, go to Joseph, is the prayer the Church places on our lips this month of March.

P.S. Saint Joseph is also the patron of the Abbey’s building projects.

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