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 Saint Joseph according to
LEO XIII

 Encyclical Letter 1889

 

To read and to Meditate
                       QUAMQUAM PLURIES
   Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII  promulgated on August 15, 1889
                On the Devotion  to Saint Joseph

 The special motives for which St. Joseph has been proclaimed Patron of the Church, and from which the Church looks for singular benefit from his patronage and protection, are that Joseph was the spouse of Mary and that  he was reputed the Father of Jesus Christ. From these sources have sprung his dignity, his holiness, his glory. In truth, the dignity of the Mother of God is so lofty that naught created can rank above it. But as Joseph has been united to the Blessed Virgin by the ties of marriage, it may not be doubted that he approached nearer than any to the eminent dignity by which the Mother of God surpasses so nobly all created natures.

For marriage is the most intimate of all unions which from its essence imparts a community of gifts between those that by it are joined together. Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honor, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all  mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian  of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men.

Hence it came about  that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to  their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.  And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. He set himself to protect with a mighty love and a daily solicitude his spouse and the Divine Infant.

Regularly by his work he earned what was necessary for the one and the other for nourishment and clothing; he guarded from death the Child threatened by a monarch's jealousy, and found for Him a refuge; in the miseries of the journey and in the bitternesses of exile he was ever the companion, the assistance, and the upholder of the Virgin and of Jesus.

Now the divine house which Joseph ruled with the authority of a father, contained within its limits the scarce-born Church. From the same fact that  the most holy Virgin is the mother of Jesus Christ is she the mother of all Christians whom she bore on Mount Calvary amid the supreme throes of the Redemption; Jesus Christ is, in a manner, the first- born of Christians, who by  the adoption and Redemption are his brothers. And for such reasons the Blessed Patriarch looks upon the multitude of Christians who make up the  Church as confided specially to his trust--this limitless family spread over the  earth, over which, because he is the spouse of Mary and the Father of Jesus Christ he holds, as it were, a paternal authority.

For Joseph, of royal blood, united by marriage to the  greatest and holiest of women, reputed the father of the Son of God, passed  his life in labor, and won by the toil of the artisan the needful support of his family. It is, then, true that the condition of the lowly has nothing shameful in  it, and the work of the laborer is not only not dishonoring, but can, if virtue be  joined to it, be singularly ennobled. Joseph, content with his slight possessions, bore the trials consequent on a fortune so slender, with   greatness of soul, in imitation of his Son, who having put on the form of a slave, being the Lord of life, subjected himself of his own free-will to the spoliation and loss of everything. 

   Sacred Family of Nazareth

                                  * QUOTES TO REMEMBER *
 

"The participation in the Eucharist and in the Holy Communion transforms the soul into a living stone of the divine city and  each soul in a temple of GOD."
                         Edith Stein



  "When you hear the interior scream of selfishness, direct in your mind a look to JESUS. For His love, won't you have strength to conquer it?. He sacrificed His life for you, from birth to  Calvary. And seeing a bloodstained GOD that requests you to conquer yourself, will you not do it?."
                            Teresita de los Andes


"Take away from me, JESUS, that dirty veneer of sensuality that covers my heart, so that I can feel and follow with easiness the touches of the PARACLETE in my soul"
                                  José María Escrivá


"Prayer is the strongest weapon in the hands of a Christian. To pray is to implore to heaven and heaven is not made of brass. There is always a fertile answer from GOD to our prayers."
          Francisco García-Salve, from the book: "The fish"


"If radiances of the chastity are worthy of all commendation among the walls of a convent, much more worthy of commendation are they amid the desires of the world."
                                                                       Saint Thomas

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