|Holy Family by Raphael, 1506.|
Devotion to Saint Joseph has developed spontaneously from the heart of Christian people. For many people the Holy Patriarch is an excellent model of humility, industriousness and fidelity to one's vocation.
One of the most popular devotions to this saint is the Seven Sundays of Saint Joseph. This is an extended opportunity to meditate about the Holy Patriarch and to pray for his intercession...
Saint Bernardine of Siena has taught, following the writings of Saint Thomas, that whenever God chooses someone to do some important work for him, God grants that person the necessary graces. The perfect example of this truth can be seen in the life of Saint Joseph, foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and spouse of Mary. Sanctity consists in fulfilling one's vocation. For Saint Joseph, that vocation entailed preserving Mary's commitment to virginity while living in authentic matrimony ... Joseph loved Mary with a love so pure and refined that it is beyond our imagination.
Vocation and Sanctity
With respect to Jesus, Joseph watched over him, protected him, taught him a trade, helped in his education. Joseph is called "foster father" but words cannot express the intimate and mysterious relationship which he actually enjoyed with the Son of God. In normal circumstances a man becomes a foster father by accident. In the case of Joseph, however, this is no accidental relationship. Joseph was created so as to live out this transcendent responsibility. This was his predestination, the purpose of all the graces which he received. (R. Garrigou-Lagrange, The Mother of the Saviour)
Saint Joseph is a great saint because he corresponded in a heroic way to the graces given to him. We should contemplate about how well we are corresponding to the grace in our vocation in the middle of the world.
We can never forget the maxim that whenever God chooses someone to do some important work for him, God grants that person the necessary graces. How do we react to difficulties in our life of faith? Do we ever doubt God's support in our struggle to raise a family, to give ourselves generously to God's requests, to live a commitment of apostolic celibacy? Do we firmly believe that because I have a vocation, because I have the grace of God, I can overcome any obstacle? Do I put my trust in God so that difficulties only make me more faithful?