I felt very excited when I was asked to talk about St. Joseph! My actual journey with him is only about a month old, even though I’ve known who he is my entire life. Up until now, I’ve probably known more about St. Blaise than THE Protector of the Holy Family! I mean, I knew WHO he is (Foster-Father of Jesus, Mary’s husband), but that’s really about it. I believe I’ve always taken him for granted. I’ve even had a particular interest in St. Andre Bessette, and knew how much HE loved St Joseph – but even that didn’t compute (I think I’ve even wondered why really St. Andre loved him so much). Even though my father and I both are named for him (our middle names are Joseph), and we named our oldest son for him, I have had no real understanding about his role and importance in the Church.
And then we come to Pope Francis’ recent proclamation of the “Year of St. Joseph,” and the Catholic school our children attend decided to consecrate the whole school community to him – this all stirs some interest in me. Each school family was presented a copy of Fr. Calloway’s book, “Consecration to St. Joseph,” and my lovely wife insists that we do it. I agreed – and that’s where I began my real learning of how very important St. Joseph is.
By the way, I know I’m not alone in my very limited understanding of him. Even St. John of the Cross said, “I did not understand him well enough, but that will change.” I’m certainly very glad I’m coming to know St. Joseph.
So why has he been overlooked? And why isn’t he more venerated in the Church?
- Well, in fact, he has always been venerated at the highest level in the Church!
- But since he has no “lines” in scripture, maybe that’s why he’s not more “visible” to some. That was the case for me. My world is based on communication, verbal and written, so if he didn’t say anything, then could he be that important? I’ve come to realize that he certainly can be!
- And those other two members of the Holy Family MIGHT overshadow him a little.
- And he is depicted in art as “old,” less active, maybe to protect Mary. It’s easier to believe he was chaste if he was old, and then I read that the Venerable Fulton Sheen said that Joseph could certainly have been “a young man, strong, verile, athletic, handsome, chaste, and disciplined…and on fire with love!”
We must come to understand in a deeper way his role as Protector of the Holy Family and what that means for us today. Did that protection end when St Joseph died? Definitely not!
He was CHOSEN by God to care for the infant Jesus and His Holy Mother. No other human was chosen for this role. Not just a foster father but Nurturer of the Son of God. But that’s just the beginning! He is our spiritual father, and if we ask, he intercedes for us in heaven, and leads us ever closer to his Beloved Son!
St. Joseph, Pray for Us!
Our guest podcaster today is Marty Hebert. Marty is the happily married husband of Ann, and they have four wonderful children. They reside in Abbeville, Louisiana, and are parishioners at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church.
He is the Director of Marketing and Development for Magnificat Travel, where they are all about “Taking Pilgrims to Holy Places“! Marty is also involved in athletics management at John Paul the Great Academy and serves on the board of the Association of Christian Educators of Louisiana athletic league. He enjoys traveling on pilgrimage, reading about the saints, fishing, and sports.