God entrusted His own Divine Son to one man
Jun 21st, 2021 • 5 min
But we have a still greater reason, a more profound source, for the holiness of St. Joseph, and that is, his relation, his heavenly mission, his intimate connection with Jesus Christ, our Blessed Saviour.
Sacred and sublime was the heavenly appointed mission of St. Joseph regarding our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no doubt that, after the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph was the first on earth to whom the glad tidings of the mystery of Redemption were conveyed, and who was the first to adore the Incarnate Son of God. Long before the birth of the Redeemer of the World, the Gospel tells us “the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt. i. 20, 21 ).
St. Joseph learned the mystery of the Incarnation first from the lips of the Blessed Virgin herself. Here God confirms that secret information by a solemn, authentic testimony from heaven. After this, with what care, love, and reverential awe did St. Joseph watch over the mother and the newborn Divine Babe?
After Mary, the Mother of Jesus, no saint approached so near to the divine person of Jesus, no saint had a mission so intimately connected with our Blessed Saviour as St. Joseph.
Who watched over the Mother and the Child from Nazareth to Bethlehem? St. Joseph.
Who, forgetful of his own fatigues, went from door to door at Bethlehem, seeking a shelter for the exhausted Mother of Jesus? St. Joseph.
Who, first after Mary, adored, loved, and worshipped the Divine Infant in the crib at Bethlehem? St. Joseph.
Who, first after Mary, took in his arms, and pressed to his bosom, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and kissed the Sacred Feet of the Redeemer of the world? St. Joseph.
To whom did the Eternal Father send down an Angel to give instruction how to protect the Infant Jesus from the cruelty of the tyrant Herod? To St. Joseph.
Who guarded and protected, as well as adored and loved, the Divine Babe in the Flight into Egypt? St. Joseph.
Who laboured with his hand for the support of the Mother and the Child in a strange land? St. Joseph.
After the death of Herod, to whom did the Almighty send another messenger from heaven, to “take the child and his mother” “into the land of Israel?” To St. Joseph.
Who “every year went to Jerusalem at the solemn day of the Pasch” with Jesus and Mary? St. Joseph.
Who was privileged to earn by the labour of his hands daily bread for Jesus and Mary? St. Joseph.
Who constantly walked and talked with Jesus, and lived in the most familiar intimacy and presence of Jesus? who, hour by hour, looked into his heavenly countenance, and saw infinite intelligence and wisdom beaming in his divine eye? St. Joseph.
Who died in the arms of Jesus and Mary? St. Joseph.
Who, in a word, was chosen by God to be called the Father of Jesus, and to be reputed among men as the father of Jesus? St. Joseph.
Here, as we before remarked, is the keynote, the source and reason of the dignity, sanctity, and special privileges and virtues of St. Joseph.
Jesus, infinite sanctity, would never allow any man to be the spouse of his Immaculate Mother, to be his own guardian and protector, to be a member, nay, head, of the Holy Family, to be even called and deemed his father, but the purest, the most holy, the most perfect that God ever created or ever will create. Such is the sanctity of our great Patriarch St. Joseph. *
We may conclude this section with the words of St. Alphonsus Liguori and of Father Segneri. “We cannot doubt,” says the saint, “that whilst St. Joseph lived with Jesus, he received such superabundance of grace, that he surpasses in sanctity and merit all other saints.” The holy and eloquent Father Segneri writes: “St. Joseph was ennobled and singularly privileged with the honour of spouse of the Mother of God, a dignity which is a solid principle; from which it follows, with every mark of probability, that St. Joseph was not only sanctified, as we maintain, in his Mother’s womb, but that he was afterwards confirmed in grace, and exempt from evil; so that no man—we boldly affirm, no man—on this earth was ever holier than Joseph.”
Glorious Patriarch, greatest of Saints, St. Joseph, pray for us, and obtain for us the grace of a holy life and happy death.
* Suarez, Tom. ii., Disp. viii., Sect. 2.
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