From Faith Comes Freedom
I recently was reading a delightful old book on St. Joseph written shortly after Pope Pius IX had named him the patron of the universal church. I enjoy these books because they are written with such strength of faith and affection for our Lord. Every generation in every century has thought their battles against Satan to be the worst, and so too will future generations of the Church. And while God has won the war, we still must fight the battles to save souls. Let us not hesitate to call upon St. Joseph frequently as God has intentionally made him part of His providential plan for us.
St. Joseph, Patron and Protector of the Universal Church.
” He made him master of his house and ruler of all his possessions ”
(Ps. civ. 21).
” Thou shalt be over my house, and at the commandment of thy mouth all the people shall obey” (Gen. xli. 40).”
“Our Holy Father Pius IX, wishing to place himself and all the faithful under the special protection of the holy Patriarch Joseph, heard the prayers of his bishops, and solemnly named the beloved foster-father of Jesus, Patron of the Universal Church.” (8th December, 1870)
Meditate on the wonderful Providence of God over His Church. In each succeeding age the Church has been assailed by new enemies inspired of the spirit of darkness. At one time kings, emperors, and mighty rulers leagued together to destroy her. “The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord, and against his Christ” (Ps. ii. 2). At another time, genius, the profound and brilliant learning of the age, is in deadly array against the Church, and every attempt is made to sap the foundations of faith. Sometimes the enemy comes forth from her own bosom, and heresy and schism bid fair to corrupt the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our blessed Saviour, who knows “the times and the seasons”, ever watches over His Immaculate Spouse the Church, comes to her aid in the hour of need, raises up new Saints, and inspires her with new Devotions to give victorious battle to her enemies. In this sense we perceive the finger of God in the foundation of the various Religious Orders, and in the rise and spread of new Devotions.
Special Devotion to our great St. Joseph was reserved by the Providence of God, for His own wise ends, to the 19th century.
In every age the Church has had her deadly enemies to combat, but perhaps in no age has the bark of Peter been assailed with such fury of wind and waves as at present. On every side are deadly enemies. There are heresies and schisms; there is the genius and learning of an enlightened but corrupt age; there are great statesmen and mighty emperors; and many of her own faithless children—all in open rebellion and in arms against her. In this hour of need and peril God sends a valiant captain to fight the battle of the Church. God sends a new Angel to breathe upon the face of the foe and to scatter them. The Captain and the Angel is St. Joseph. The Church, which in its infancy may be said in a certain sense to have consisted of the Holy Family, was governed and protected by St. Joseph. St. Joseph saved from the cruelty of Herod the life of the Infant Jesus, the Divine Founder of the Church. The 19th century has witnessed the birth of new Herods and the rise of new and formidable enemies of the Church; hence the Providence of God has raised up a new friend, and has appointed St. Joseph the Patron and Protector of the Universal Church. And as in the first century St. Joseph protected Jesus, the invisible Head of the Church, so in the nineteenth, his heavenly-appointed mission is to guard and protect the Sovereign Pontiff, the visible head of the Church on earth.
At the Vatican Council, on the 18th of December, 1870, at the pressing, earnest prayers of almost all the Bishops of Christendom, and to the joy of all the faithful throughout the Catholic world, Pius IX, of holy memory, proclaimed St. Joseph Patron and Protector of the Universal Church.
My Jesus ! I know and I believe that Thy Church can never teach error. The Church is built upon a rock, and “the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” The Church, like Thyself, O Jesus, is the same “yesterday and to-day, and the same forever.” As in the past, so in the future, revolution after revolution will sweep away thrones and dynasties; new heresies and schisms, new and formidable enemies, will assail the Church; but Jesus is with her, and if needs be, Jesus will raise up a new St. Dominic, another St. Augustine, a St. Francis, a St. Vincent de Paul, another St. Ignatius, even a new St. Joseph, to protect his Immaculate Spouse the Church. Happy the Catholic who believes that as it is impossible to separate the most Adorable Trinity, it is no less so to destroy the Church of Christ.
Blessed be the Divine Providence of God, who in this age of trials has appointed the great St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church. Infinite praise, honor, glory, thanksgiving, at every moment, from every creature, and for all eternity, be to Jesus, who is ever with His Church, and protects her in every trial and in every necessity. “Foster-father Joseph, our guide, protect us and holy Church.” O most holy Patriarch St. Joseph! Ever protect the holy Church of Jesus; humble her enemies, confound their wisdom, and defeat their plots. O great St. Joseph! Obtain from Jesus, for His Church, holy Popes, holy prelates, holy priests and holy religious.
Frequently beg of St. Joseph to protect the Universal Church, and to pray for the Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
“Foster-father Joseph, our guide, protect us and Holy Church.”
Happy the Catholic, indeed! From Faith comes freedom from all that worries us. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊
From: Very Rev. Archdeacon Kinane, P.P. (1884) St. Joseph: His Life, His Virtues, His Privileges, His Power. M.H. Gill and Son. Pps. 403-408. Imprimatur. https://archive.org/details/StJosephHisLife/page/n1/mode/2up
(Image of Joseph with Jesus holding the greatest commandment in Syriac by Rosary Team, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)
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