Monday, March 19, 2012

St Joseph

Today the Church remembers the humble man who trusted God and lovingly cared for The Blessed Virgin Mary and her son, Jesus.  We know little about him, other than he was a carpenter and a man of great faith.  Tradition presumes he died sometime before the crucifixion of Jesus.  He has been venerated since the first century, as attested by this beautiful prayer that has come to us from 50 AD:

Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests 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 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 us. Amen

St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, John Collier

Shrine to the Repose of St Joseph, The Church of St Joseph, Rio de Janeiro

St. Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church, fathers, workers, and the dying.