I have great love for St. Joseph, because he is a man of silence and strength. On my table I have an image of St. Joseph sleeping. Even when he is asleep, he is taking care of the Church. Yes! We know he can do that. So when I have a problem, a difficulty, I write a little note and put it underneath St. Joseph, so that he can dream about it. In other words, I tell him to pray for this problem. (Pope Francis)
On March 19th the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph. It’s a wonderful feast day for believers, and it touches the secular city as well. (Don’t forget your zeppole!)
Even though the Bible doesn’t record St. Joseph saying a single word, he is a key figure in salvation history. As the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus, his role is unique. Since he was of the “house and family of David,” (Lk 2: 4) he is a bridge to the Old Testament, and provides Jesus with the royal credentials fitting for his messianic reign.
But, as Pope Francis illustrates in the quote above, St. Joseph is also a subject of popular devotion and wears many different hats. As the Protector of the Holy Family, St. Joseph serves well as the Protector of the Universal Church, the family of God. He is the patron saint of several countries, and of fathers, carpenters, travelers, immigrants, a happy death, and, in more recent times it seems, of real estate transactions. (Have you buried a statue of St. Joseph in your yard to sell your house?)
Pope Francis points out that St. Joseph can be a powerful intercessor in times of trouble and need. You may or may not follow the Pope’s example of putting a note under the statue of St. Joseph, but you can confidently turn to him with your prayers and requests.
We all have our favorite saints, or at least we should. But everyone loves Joseph. And so we pray: “O God, in your divine providence you were pleased to choose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy mother. Grant, we pray, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven, whom on earth we venerate as our protector. Amen.”
Something to think about: Have you ever asked St. Joseph for a special favor? He’s waiting to hear from you.