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St. Joseph 5

Father’s Day is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June. It is a day to celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society, especially in the foundation of society, the family.

The Church holds up St. Joseph as the model and exemplar of fatherhood. In Joseph’s marriage to Mary, God ushers in the sacrament of the New Covenant. St. John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos (On the Person and Mission of Saint Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church), speaks of how God used Mary and Joseph to break the curse of original sin ushered in by Adam and Eve…

Analyzing the nature of marriage, both St. Augustine and St. Thomas always identify it with an “indivisible union of souls,” a “union of hearts,” with “consent.” These elements are found in an exemplary manner in the marriage of Mary and Joseph. At the culmination of the history of salvation, when God reveals his love for humanity through the gift of the Word, it is precisely the marriage of Mary and Joseph that brings to realization in full “freedom” the “spousal gift of self” in receiving and expressing such a love. “In this great undertaking which is the renewal of all things in Christ, marriage-it too purified and renewed-becomes a new reality, a sacrament of the New Covenant. We see that at the beginning of the New Testament, as at the beginning of the Old, there is a married couple. But whereas Adam and Eve were the source of evil which was unleashed on the world, Joseph and Mary are the summit from which holiness spreads all over the earth. The Savior began the work of salvation by this virginal and holy union, wherein is manifested his all-powerful will to purify and sanctify the family – that sanctuary of love and cradle of life.” [1] (emphasis added)

St. John Paul II goes on to explain the essence and role of the family…

How much the family of today can learn from this! “The essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church his bride.” This being the case, it is in the Holy Family, the original “Church in miniature (Ecclesia domestica),” that every Christian family must be reflected. “Through God’s mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life. It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families.”[2]

One of the titles of St. Joseph is Pillar of Families.[3] He is the role model for all fathers. We are called to be protectors of our families in total self-sacrificial and self-giving love. Fr. Donald H. Calloway, in his marvelous book Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, says this about the state of the family today…

Modern man has distanced himself from God and attempted to redefine what it means to be a family. As a result, divorce rates are at an all-time high; the majority of married couples use contraception; abortion is legal; and it is socially acceptable for children to be raised by two dads and/or two moms. The family stands on the edge of a great precipice.[4] (emphasis added)

Fr. Calloway says “God established the family to be a school of love, something beautiful, delightful, and life-giving, and the devil and his agents want to destroy it.”[5] As the pillar of the family, St. Joseph was the foundation of the Holy Family. This is the role of all fathers and we need St. Joseph to lead and guide us. “He will teach your family the importance of prayer, mutual respect, purity, honesty, forgiveness, love, and, most importantly, placing God above all things.”[6]

Continuing, Fr. Calloway says…

In the person of St. Joseph, men can learn what it means to be a husband and father. They must be self-sacrificing for women, children, and the common good. It is honorable for men to sacrifice themselves for others. Manhood and fatherhood are perfected through love, sacrifice, and faithfulness to those entrusted to their care. The exercise of such manhood is how husbands and fathers become pillars of civilization, and indeed, become holy. A world filled with men like St. Joseph will experience a renewal of social and moral order.[7] (emphasis added)

Oh, how the world is in need of men following the example of St. Joseph!

Another title of St. Joseph is Terror of Demons.[8] He alone commands this title. Fr. Calloway quotes former satanic priest, Blessed Bartolo Longo, beatified by St. John Paul II in 1980, who says, “It is a great blessing for souls to be under the protection of the saint whose name makes demons tremble and flee.”[9] “All fatherhood is a threat to Satan,” says Fr. Calloway. “All fatherhood has its origin in God and finds its earthly model in St. Joseph.”[10] Be near to St. Joseph in your fatherhood and his protection from the evil one who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10).

Satan hates families and fathers need to invoke the intercession and protection of St. Joseph for their families.

Prayer to St. Joseph, Terror of Demons[11]

St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, cast your solemn gaze upon the devil and all his minions, and protect us with your mighty staff. You fled through the night to avoid the devil’s wicked designs; now with the power of God, smite the demons as they flee from you! Grant special protection, we pray, for children, fathers, families, and the dying. By God’s grace, no demon dares approach while you are near, so we beg of you, always be near to us! Amen.

[1] John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, §7; internet: https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_15081989_redemptoris-custos.html (accessed June 16, 2021).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Donald H. Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father (Stockbridge: Marian Press, 2020), 65.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., 66.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid., 217.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., 245.