Saint Joseph was so reserved and careful in his speech, that not one word ever issued from his mouth that was not good and holy, nor did he ever indulge in unnecessary or less charitable conversation. He was most patient and diligent in bearing fatigue; he practiced extreme poverty; he was most meek in bearing injuries; he was strong and constant against my enemies; he was the faithful witness of the wonders of Heaven, being dead to the flesh and the world, living only for God and for heavenly goods, which were the only things he desired.
Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden
“Some saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy patron, Saint Joseph, has the power to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking.”
Saint Thomas Aquinas
“The two greatest personages who ever lived on this earth subjected themselves to Saint Joseph. Jesus wished to become indebted to Saint Joseph for the necessities of life, and of this holy Patriarch alone it may be said that he saved the life of his Savior. Let us love Jesus above all; let us love Mary as our Mother; but, then, how could we keep from loving Joseph, who was so intimately united to both Jesus and Mary? And how can we honor him better than by imitating his virtues? Now, what else did he do in all his life but contemplate, study and adore Jesus, even in the midst of his daily labors? Behold, therefore, our model.”
Saint Madaleine Sophie Barat
“If you compare Saint Joseph to the whole Church is he not the special and chosen being of whom and under whom the Lord was introduced into the world with becoming dignity? If all the faithful are debtors to the Virgin Mother for being made worthy through her to receive the Redeemer, there can be no doubt that next to the Mother of God we owe to Saint Joseph our special homage and veneration.”
Saint Bernardine of Siena
“…it was given to Joseph not simply to see and hear (Jesus) whom many kings and prophets had desired to see, and saw not, desired to hear and heard not (Matt. 13:17); but as well to carry, lead, embrace, kiss, nurture and protect him. We must suppose that Mary, too, was descended from the house of David, for otherwise she would not have been betrothed to a man of that house. Both, then, were of the house of David; but it was only in Mary that the promise which the Lord had sworn to David was fulfilled: Joseph was but the witness to the fulfillment of the promise.” St. Bernard
Saint Joseph… “he was a good man. He did not hate, and he did not 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: he is an example of this. And Joseph thereby became even freer and greater. By accepting himself according to God’s design, Joseph fully finds 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.” Pope Francis on Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph, most docile to the will of God obtain for me full adhesion to God’s will in my own life. I trust in your designs, my God, for my life and well being. Amen.
“If you labor for your bread; if you have a family to support; if your heart is searched by trials at home; if you are assailed by some importunate temptation; if your faith is sorely tested, and your hope seems lost in darkness and disappointment; if you have yet to learn to love and serve Jesus and Mary as you ought, Joseph, the head of the house, the husband of Mary, the caring father of Jesus – Joseph is your model, your teacher and your father. Truly, in all things, Saint Joseph is the people’s friend…
Go, then, to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to you. God to Joseph, and obey him as Jesus and Mary obeyed him. God to Joseph, and speak to him as they spoke to him. Go to Joseph, and consult him as they consulted him. Go to Joseph, and honor him as they honored him. Go to Joseph, and be grateful to him as they were grateful to him. Go to Joseph, and love him as they loved him, and as they love him still.
However much you love Joseph, your love will always fall short of the extraordinary love which Jesus and Mary bore him. On the other hand, the love of Joseph necessarily leads us to Jesus and Mary. He was the first Christian to whom it was said, “Take the Child and His mother….” This led a Father of the Church to say, “You will always find Jesus with Mary and Joseph.”
Herbert Cardinal Vaughan (1832-1903)
Someone from the crowd called out to Jesus and said, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you.” And Jesus answered, “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:27-28
Jesus was not only referring to his most holy mother but also to people like Saint Joseph who listened to the word of God and kept it.
“I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of the angels, at the time when she was undergoing so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for looking after them in the way he did. If anyone has not got a guide to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint as his master and he will not go astray.” Saint Teresa of Avila
“Therefore, remember us, blessed Joseph, and by the voice of your prayers intercede for us with him who was believed to be your son; and direct toward us the compassion of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, your bride and the Mother of Him who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.” Saint Bernardine of Siena
Do we remember the two parables that Our Lord spoke to us. The parable of the mustard seed and the image of the woman who buried the yeast in three measures of wheat flour? The mustard seed is the smallest of seeds and yet in time grew to be a large tree that the birds of the air came to dwell on its branches. And the yeast made the bread rise without anyone really noticing it happening.
Saint Joseph was a humble servant of the Lord. He did not see the future, nor did he pretend to. He believed what was revealed to him regarding the birth of the Son of God. This is the secret of the kingdom of God. Humility, simplicity and trust in the Lord are what bring forth fruit and growth. He was satisfied with doing the will of God in his daily life. He listened to the voice of the angel not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Then Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to be registered according to a decree. After the birth of Jesus, Joseph was warned in a dream to rise in the night and take Jesus and Mary to Egypt because “Herod was seeking the life of the child”.
Saint Joseph knew nothing of the future. He knew that God was working through him and had a plan. He simply obeyed God’s call.
After the time in Egypt, the Holy Family returned to Nazareth and lived a simple life, virtuous life.
Sometimes we may feel that we are not doing enough, or may not have opportunities, or maybe are not doing what God really wants us to be doing. But in reality, God is the one who is directing our live. Yes, we are to put every effort into doing what God is asking of us. There is this old adage, “we will do our best and God will do the rest”. That is exactly what Saint Joseph did. He was not driven to follow his own agendas. He followed God’s lead. He had direct conversations with Jesus, the Son of God, and was truly devoted to his holy Spouse, Mary. He did what was expected of him as the guardian of the holy family and he listened to the voice of God. That small and simple faith was part of God’s great plan of redeeming mankind.
We are all part of this. When Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed and the woman who took the yeast and mixed it with the flour, he asked two questions in the beginning…..”What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?” We all may have our own way of answering this question. For we are all part of the kingdom of God. We are God’s servants. And in these questions, Jesus is asking us the actual question, “What do you think?” What shall we answer him?