A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

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Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Monday, March 19, 2007

THE FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH: No "Ordinary Joe"


I’ve never been much of a birthday person. I’m the kind of person that remembers my friend’s Saint days, but forgets their birthdays. In the past, I’ve even forgotten my own birthday! Fortunately, I won’t be forgetting my own birthday anymore since I’ve developed a huge devotion to St. Joseph this past year, thanks to the beautiful Nativity Story film. You see, in the past I always took it for granted how God chose for me to have been born on St. Joseph’s Feast Day…I guess it’s because I always considered him an “Ordinary Joe” type of Saint. However, I’ve come to realize that that’s exactly why Joseph is such a wonderful Saint- because he willingly chose to be ordinary.

In the movie and even in scripture, it is suggested that before the angel told him to stay betrothed to Mary, Joseph sought a life of honor. Indeed, that is something that I have been struggling with in my own life- I have always sought a life full of honor and praise, even if it be for merits which are good in their own right. However, God had another path for Joseph. God wanted to draw out Joseph’s humility and self-sacrifice by having him wed Mary. Furthermore, perhaps it must have been frustrating for Joseph to be the only member of the Holy Family who could have been tempted by sin, since Mary and Jesus were both incapable of sin. However, Joseph showed to his family and to God that he could to extraordinary things with his “ordinariness” by simply being self-sacrificing, humble, prayerful, kind, etc. After all, Our Lord must have learned many of his human virtues from Joseph!

Thank you, St. Joseph, for being my “extraordinary” intercessor in heaven! I love you, and Happy Feast Day!

An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph
O ST. JOSEPH, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me.

THIS PRAYER WAS FOUND IN THE 5OTH YEAR OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. IN 1505 IT WAS SENT FROM THE POPE TO EMPEROR CHARLES WHEN HE WAS GOING INTO BATTLE. WHOEVER SHALL READ THIS PRAYER OR HEAR IT OR KEEP IT ABOUT THEMSELVES SHALL NEVER DIE A SUDDEN DEATH OR BE DROWNED, NOR SHALL POISON TAKE EFFECT ON THEM---- NEITHER SHALL THEY FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY OR BE BURNED IN ANY FIRE OR BE OVERPOWERED IN BATTLE. SAY FOR NINE MORNINGS FOR ANYTHING YOU DESIRE. IT HAS NEVER BEEN KNOWN TO FAIL, PROVIDED THAT THE REQUEST IS FOR ONE'S SPIRITUAL BENEFIT OR FOR THOSE WHOM WE ARE PRAYING FOR.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lisa, sfo said...

>>... having him wed Mary, whom the world wrongly mistook for a dishonored woman.

Actually, no. The world did not wrongly mistake Mary as being "dishonored". (Think about it: Why would God, Maker of Moral Law, give any hint of impropriety to His Mother? Or to the means in which He was conceived?)

Christ came into the world through a married couple: Mary wasn't an "unwed mother" at the moment of the Incarnation, nor was she merely "engaged" to Joseph -- she was truly and legally married to him; a wife. Jesus was conceived, as is proper, within the bond of Holy Matrimony, not outside it.

"In Hebrew Law the betrothal was not a simple promise of marriage in the future, but, with binding force, was equivalent to it. In Deuteronomy, as in the Gospel, the betrothed was called 'wife' because she was indeed that. Accused of infidelity, she would be obliged to suffer the punishment for adultery, and she would be stoned to death. Did her betrothed die, she would be looked upon as a widow. Nor could she be rejected except through the same process of divorce as the Law required for a married woman." While cohabitation itself was usually postponed in order for the bride to prepare her trousseau and the groom his home, "the betrothed could have marital relations and if the bride conceived a child by her groom, no fault would be found." (Michel Gasnier, OP)

For more information on Joseph and who he really was and is, feel free to take a peek at my Joseph posts to date. :-)

5:46 PM  
Blogger Frater said...

I think the Holy Family is cool.

Peace
Frater

7:13 AM  

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