Friday, February 23, 2018

St. Joseph Gems — Learn About and Reflect on St. Joseph



St. Joseph’s feast day is on March 19th, but any day is a good day to learn about and reflect on St. Joseph. As Fr. Donald Calloway writes in the introduction of his latest book, St. Joseph Gems (Marian Press), St. Joseph “is our spiritual father! As such, he desires to lead us to Jesus, Mary, the Church, and growth in virtue.” 

I’ve always heard from tradition that St. Joseph was an older man, possibly a widower with other children, who died while Jesus was still a young man. This book quotes several prominent Churchmen who describe St. Joseph as a younger man in the prime of life, perhaps just a few years older than the teenage Mary. They also have him being a virgin like Mary. While Scripture is silent on this matter, what is definitely true is that St. Joseph was a righteous, just man who played a major role in Jesus’ life.

“Along with his virginal bride, the first to bring the Messiah to the nations, St. Joseph is the second greatest human person in history because he, too, shared in the role of bringing Jesus to souls.” In addition, because he listened to the message of the angel and took Mary and Jesus to Egypt to save the young child from being killed by King Herod, “St. Joseph is the only human person who has been given the title of ‘savior of the Savior.’”

St. Joseph Gems is set up as a daily devotional. Each day of the year features a quote about St. Joseph from a saint, blessed, or pope, as well as an invocation to the saint of the day to pray for us. Each month begins with a beautiful painted image of St. Joseph. The book concludes with the Litany to St. Joseph.

While I do ask St. Joseph for help in certain circumstances, as a woman I tend to focus on Mary as a confidante and role model. However, as St. Peter Julian Eymard states in the quote for May 31st, “Devotion to St. Joseph is something very precious for Christian mothers because St. Joseph is patron of Christian families.” 

St. Joseph Gems offers much spiritual food for thought. It is a wonderful choice for anyone seeking to increase their devotion to St. Joseph.

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