How well do you know St. Joseph? Do you understand his greatness and seek his aid in your vocation as a Catholic man? Given the state of the world and the specific problems we face, I am convinced that God wants to direct our hearts, families, parishes and the entire Church to St. Joseph today in a clear and devoted way.
There are at least two reasons why I believe now is the time of this powerful patron of the universal Church.
First, we need the spiritual fatherhood of St. Joseph to protect marriage and the family. Many people no longer know what it means to be a man or a woman, let alone what constitutes a marriage and a family. Many countries have gone so far as to legally redefine marriage and family. Servant of God Sister Lucia dos Santos, the longestlived visionary of the Fátima apparitions, once wrote that the final battle between God and Satan will be waged over marriage and the family. To conquer Satan’s deceptions, we should invoke the powerful intercession of St. Joseph, who is head of the Holy Family and known as the “terror of demons.”
Second, the world needs to be re-evangelized — including a vast majority of baptized Christians. St. Joseph was given the extraordinary mission to protect and provide for the Word of God from the time Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb. Today, he desires to blaze a trail for the Gospel to be brought to the world anew. Many nations and cultures that were previously Christian have fallen away from their roots, and some are overrun by ideologies and organizations that seek to strip society of all that is sacred. Without a major conversion, civilization itself is at risk.
In his apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer), St. John Paul II wrote about this necessity of turning to St. Joseph in the work of spreading the Gospel today: “This patronage [of St. Joseph] must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelization in those lands and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and are now put to a hard test” (29).
To defend marriage and the family, elevate morals, uncover lost Christian roots and win souls for Christ, we need to bring St. Joseph onto the battlefield. With his powerful spiritual fatherhood, incredible love for his spiritual children and constant intercession, we can engage in the spiritual warfare that is needed for a renewal of the Church.
If you are convinced that the need is great, consider consecrating yourself to St. Joseph, which involves a formal act of filial entrustment to him. It calls for you to accept him as your spiritual father and as a worthy example, and to entrust yourself entirely to his paternal care so that he can lovingly help you acquire his virtues and strive for holiness.
In short, the person who consecrates himself to St. Joseph wants to be as close to his spiritual father as possible, to the point of resembling him in virtue and holiness. St. Joseph, in turn, will give those consecrated to him his loving attention, protection, strength and guidance, leading them to Christ. Go to him; he will not fail you.
Welcome, men, to the battlefield. St. Joseph, pray for us!
FATHER DONALD H. CALLOWAY, MIC, is a member of Father Peter Paul Maher Council 6793 in Silver Spring, Md. This column is adapted from his book Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father (Marian Press, 2020).
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