cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2017

Today we honor St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now more than ever, when traditional Catholic families are under attack even from Pope Francis and the leaders of the Church who support him, we turn to St. Joseph, strong defender of the family.

The Church liturgically honors St. Joseph tomorrow, since his feast falls on a Sunday, and so we post today, and will have another post honoring great St. Joseph tomorrow, as well.

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times.

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

  • Attaining purity and overcoming sensuality.
  • Escaping sin and returning to the faith.
  • Increasing love and devotion to his spouse, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Securing the grace of a happy death and defending the soul against the devil’s wiles at that crucial time.
  • St. Joseph is the terror of demons and they flee at his name.
  • St. Joseph is a great intercessor for all our needs, especially helpful for our families and health.

Venerable Maria de Agreda quoted Our Lady’s words to her, “That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.” Indeed, trusting in St. Joseph as the foster father of our family has brought us closer to living our consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In speaking of St. Joseph, it is difficult to adequately express his tender love for us, his willingness to protect us, even from ourselves and obtain for us the graces we need to live our consecrations.

Continue reading “The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2017”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

The Presentation of the Child Mary in the Temple

Today, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on the feast day of her Presentation in the Temple, when her parents, Joachim and Anne, who had consecrated her to the Lord God, brought her to the Temple of Jerusalem.

"Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God."
“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.”

Continue reading “The Presentation of the Child Mary in the Temple”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

The Dawn of our Redemption

“The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption.”

“The Mother proclaims the Son, making it known that He is about to come, that the divine promises, made so many centuries before, are to be fulfilled. The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption. Her appearance projects a new light over all the human race: a light of innocence, of purity, of grace, a resplendent presage of the great light which will inundate the world when Christ, “Lux mundi”, the Light of the World”  appears. Mary, preserved from sin in anticipation of Christ’s merits, not only announces that the Redemption is at hand, but she bears the first fruits of it within herself; she is the first one redeemed by her divine Son. (Divine Intimacy)

“Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent.”

 

“From the beginning and before all ages God selected and prepared for His only Son the Mother from whom, having taken flesh, He would be born in the blessed fullness of time; He loved her by herself more than all creatures, and with such a love as to find His delight in a singular way in her.” (“Ineffabilis Deus”, Pope Pius IX)

This is explained a bit more in the dialogues of Venerable Maria de Agreda, in her account of the nativity and naming of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12, 1). The holy angels spoke to me: ‘This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, His angelic spirits, are full of astonishment.’

After describing briefly the birth of Our Lady, she tells us that “The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother: they joined in heavenly music.”

Mother Maria de Agreda then describes how the Eternal Father sent His angels to bear the holy infant Mary up to heaven: The holy princes, … receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy mother Anne, bore the true Ark of the Covenant heavenward with incomparable songs of great joy. … At this time, His Majesty wished to give a name to the Child Queen and impose it first in Heaven. He thereby made known to the angels that the Three Divine persons had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning, before all ages and that Their delight was in these precious names. Continue reading “The Dawn of our Redemption”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2016

Throughout the Liturgical Year, the Holy Ghost spreads out His treasures before us in the lovely feast days in which we honor Our Dear Lord and His Mother and the myriad saints and martyrs that array our Church in splendor. It is fitting that we honor St. Joseph today, as we prepare for the Feast of the Annunciation.

As St. Luke reminds us, The Blessed Virgin was “espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David”.  So much hinged on St. Joseph’s humility and obedience! In the great trial which was set before him, of the Incarnation of Christ, St. Joseph steadfastly kept his eyes on God, to discern His will. Once God’s will was made known to him, he never failed to obey God, and to honor and protect the Blessed Virgin and the Christ Child. 

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!
St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times. 

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

Continue reading “The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2016”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

Venerable Maria de Agreda on Chapter 12

Much fascinating commentary has been offered over the past two millenia on Apocalypse, Chapter 12. Today, we consider only a small portion, but trust that it will be helpful as we try to discern God’s will for us in these dark days of the Church.

[1] And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: [2] And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. [3] And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: [4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. [5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.

[6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. [7] And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: [8] And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. [9] And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. [10] And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.

[11] And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death. [12] Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. [13] And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child: [14] And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. [15] And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman, water as it were a river; that he might cause her to be carried away by the river.

[16] And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the river, which the dragon cast out of his mouth. [17] And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. [18] And he stood upon the sand of the sea.

Continue reading “Venerable Maria de Agreda on Chapter 12”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

St. Joseph, Protect Our Families!

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, when traditional Catholic families are under attack not only from the anti-christian governments and anti-life cultures, but also from the papacy and church leaders, we need to call on St. Joseph, strong defender of the family.

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times.

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!
St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

  • Attaining purity and overcoming sensuality.
  • Escaping sin and returning to the faith.
  • Increasing love and devotion to his spouse, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Securing the grace of a happy death and defending the soul against the devil’s wiles at that crucial time.
  • St. Joseph is the terror of demons and they flee at his name.
  • St. Joseph is a great intercessor for all our needs, especially helpful for our families and health.

Venerable Maria de Agreda quoted Our Lady’s words to her, “That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.” Indeed, trusting in St. Joseph as the foster father of our family has brought us closer to living our consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In speaking of St. Joseph, it is difficult to adequately express his tender love for us, his willingness to protect us, even from ourselves and obtain for us the graces we need to live our consecrations.

The following is an especially appropriate prayer to St. Joseph composed by Pope Leo XIII, called Ad te Beate Joseph. It seems especially appropriate in this time of crisis of the faith in the Church and in our families, who seem to be betrayed by the very Church which should defend and nourish them. It is said before Mass by those attending Chapels of the Society of St. Pius X and Bishop Fellay is especially devoted to St. Joseph.

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength.

Most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend Gods Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.
— A partial indulgence is attached to this prayer

Another favorite prayer of mine is this Consecration to St. Joseph

Beloved St. Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation, watch over me day and night, preserve me from all occasion of sin, obtain for me purity of body and soul! Through thy intercession with Jesus grant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, self-denial, a burning love for Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, my Mother. St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying and obtain for me a favorable judgement from Jesus, my merciful Savior. Amen

St. Joseph has brought me through so many perils to my faith and continues to protect even those of my children who are lapsed from the faith. He is a most compassionate and loving protector to all who turn to him.

St. Joseph, foster father to our Lord, be foster father to our family!

St. Joseph, terror of demons, cast out evil from our homes, from our families, from the Church!

St. Joseph intercede for us now and at the hour of our death!

~ evensong ~