Go to Joseph, the Model of Real Manhood

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Today is the feast day of St. Joseph!  He’s one of my favorite saints, and every man should model themselves after his example.  He was a good husband, a good father, and had a burning love and devotion for God.

We know St. Joseph was a man of tremendous righteousness and holiness, because he was chosen to be the husband of Our Blessed Mother, and the foster father of Our Lord Jesus.  God didn’t entrust his two greatest treasures (Mary and Jesus) to just anybody. He entrusted them to St. Joseph.

Joseph was the protector, provider, guardian, and head of household to Jesus and the Blessed Mother.  He was a hard worker, too. The scriptures say he was a carpenter, but in the original greek texts the word “tekton” is more than just “carpenter”.  It usually refers to a master builder who works with his hands.  So whether St. Joseph only worked with wood, or also worked with stone and metals and clay, he was surly a hard worker who labored and toiled to provide for his family’s needs.

JosephwithChildJesusJesus learned a lot from St. Joseph.  In fact he probably learned a lot about God, the scriptures, and prayer from St. Joseph, since Joseph was the spiritual leader of the family.  Finally, St. Joseph, along with the Blessed Mother, impressed upon the human character of Jesus.  So when we read the Gospels and begin to understand Jesus’ human personality, you’re seeing a personality that was formed and shaped in large part by St. Joseph.

Joseph was a man so holy, so good, so righteous, and he had such a burning love for God, for Our Lady, and for Jesus. I can only imagine what kind of an amazing man St. Joseph was (is), but when I contemplate him, I marvel at what God has made.

I’d like to share this short little prayer to St. Joseph. It is traditionally intended to be said after the Rosary, that’s why it starts off with “…having implored the help of thy thrice-holy Spouse”.  But it isn’t required to be said after a Rosary.  I think it’s a great prayer, and I think it’ll help you to build your own relationship with St. Joseph. He’s a powerful intercessor. Pray to him. Ask for his intercession.  Don’t ignore him. Put him to work. He likes to work.

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and, having implored the help of thy thrice-holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength. Most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from Heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in Heaven. Amen.

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