Prayer of Entrustment to St Joseph by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Dearest St. Joseph,
I consecrate myself to your service. I give myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector, and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a great purity of heart, a fervent love of the interior life, and the spirit of prayer.
After your example may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And you, blessed St. Joseph, pray for me, that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death.
You know the times in which we live; they are scarcely less deplorable for the Christian religion than the worst days, which in time past were most full of misery to the Church. We see faith, the root of all the Christian virtues, lessening in many souls; we see charity growing cold; theyoung generation daily growing in depravity of morals and views; the Church of Jesus Christ attacked on every side by open force or by craft; a relentless war waged against the Sovereign Pontiff; and the very foundations of religion undermined with a boldness which waxes daily in intensity.
That God may be more favourable to Our prayers, and that He may come with bounty and promptitude to the aid of His Church, We judge it of deep utility for the Christian people, continually to invoke with great piety and trust, together with the Virgin-Mother of God, her chaste Spouse, the Blessed Joseph.
In giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life’s companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honour, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents.
And for such reasons, the Blessed Patriarch looks upon the multitude of Christians who make up the Church as confided specially to his trust – this limitless family spread over the earth, over which, because he is the spouse of Mary and the Father of Jesus Christ he holds, as it were, a paternal authority. It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.
Excerpted from Quamquam Pluries – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON DEVOTION TO ST. JOSEPH
Today, the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker of Walton, Kentucky, will celebrate their patronal feast day. They have a special devotion to St. Joseph observing with joy all of his feast days and offering a special weekly votive mass in his honor.
The Sisters chose the title “Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker” because the Church had instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker just a few years before, in 1955, during the pontificate of Pius XII.
Their apostolate is prayer and through their union with Christ pours forth their ministry to the elderly and to children. At Taylor Manor, they prepare their residents for eternal life, upholding the dignity of human life and the unique witness the elderly have to offer. At St. Joseph Academy, they provide an authentically Catholic education for grades Preschool-8th, cultivating not only the intellectual well-being of their students, but their appreciation for and knowledge of the Catholic faith.
“My Sisters, I exhort you to continuously recall God’s goodness to us, to take full responsibility for the holiness of the Church and the Community, by being ourselves holy. Let us never rest on our laurels and feel that we have done enough in the pursuit of holiness. We will have all eternity to rest and to realize that no hardship or sacrifice was too great to obtain the ‘pearl of great price.’” Mother Ellen Curran (d. 2008), Foundress
In the Church, we have the beautiful feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with the heart symbolizing the immense love of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother for each one of us.
Catholic men might also consider meditating on the heart of St. Joseph, the third member of the Holy Family. His heart is an apt symbol of the love he contributed to the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation that was unfolding under his watch.
And now that same masculine vigilance and love, once focused on his beloved wife and the Christ child, is bestowed on each one of us, as he is universally invoked as the patron of the Catholic Church.
At the outset of St. Luke’s Gospel, we learn that part of St. John the Baptist’s role in preparing the people for the imminent coming of the Messiah was to turn the hearts of fathers to their children so as to make ready for the Lord a people that was truly prepared for Him (Lk. 1:17; cf. Mal. 4:5-6). In St. Joseph, we find a father whose heart is already exquisitely calibrated.
His heart was always in the right place, and God was able to accomplish great things through this eminently just and faithful man.
St. Joseph’s fatherly heart jumps off the page throughout the biblical accounts of Christ’s childhood. Let’s take a brief look at just one such familiar episode: the Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Lk. 2:41-52). Continue reading The Heart of a Father→