Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid…! [Matthew 1:20-21]
Pope Francis explains… “Matthew’s gospel reveals to us the greatness of St. Joseph’s heart and soul. He was following a good plan for his life, but God was reserving another plan for him, a greater mission…
…Joseph always listened to God’s voice, was deeply sensitive to God’s secret will, attentive to the messages that came to him from the depths of his heart and from on high. He did not persist in following his own plan for life or allow bitterness to poison his soul. Rather, he was ready to make himself available to the news that, in such a bewildering way, was being presented to him. And thus, he was a good man. He did not hate or allow bitterness to poison his soul. Yet how many times does hatred, or even dislike and bitterness poison our souls! And this is harmful. Never allow it. Joseph is an example of this. And Joseph thereby became even freer and greater. By accepting himself according to God’ design, Joseph fully find himself, beyond himself. His freedom to renounce even what is his, the possession of his very life, and his full interior availability to the will of God challenge us and show us the way.” …[Ah, now that’s holy and healthy!!]“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.”…
Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him… [Matthew 1:23-24]
Emmanuel! God is with us!
Pope Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph the patron of the Universal Church in 1870, the unofficial patron against doubt and hesitation, as well as the patron saint of fighting communism, and of a happy death. Having died in the arms of Jesus and Mary (according to Catholic tradition), he is considered the model of the pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death.
Saint Joseph is the patron saint of a number of cities, regions and countries, among them the Americas, Canada, China, Croatia, Mexico, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as of families, fathers, expectant mothers (pregnant women), travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general [per prayertostjoseph site].
“I know by experience that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.“ –St. Teresa of Avila
Let us pray…
“Jesus, in You I am never alone, even at difficult moments, even when my life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable. I accompany You, I follow You, but above all I know that You accompany me and carry me on Your shoulders. This is my joy, this is the hope that I must bring to this world. Teach me to see with Your eyes, to live life as You lived, to understand life as You understood it. Help me be ready for an encounter with You, which means being able to see the signs of Your presence, keeping my faith alive with prayer and the sacraments, and taking care not to forget about God.” –Pope Francis
MERRY CHRISTMAS all!
Let us be not afraid. Saint Joseph, pray for us.
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About images above [per Wikipedia]:
“The Dream of St. Joseph” by Philippe de Champaigne (est. 1636).
“Offering of the Angels” Nativity by Alessandro Tiarini (1600’s).
“Madonna and Sleeping Child” by Berardino Luini (1793).
2014–The Way to Nourish for Life.