Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St Joseph: a Special Patron of the Church

Alonso Cano (19 March 1601 – 3 September 1667
Death of St Joseph
Oil on canvas. 98x149.5 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

On 15th August 1989, Pope John Paul II delivered his Apostolic Exhortation: On the Person and Mission of St Joseph in the Life of Christ and the Church

This was on the centenary of Pope Leo XII`s Encyclical Epistle Quamquam Pluries: on the life of and devotion to St Joseph. (August 15, 1889):

St. Teresa of Jesus, the great reformer of the Carmelites, promoted the renewal of veneration to St. Joseph

Blessed Pope Pius IX declared Saint Joseph "Patron of the Catholic Church."(8th December 1870)

Pope John Paul II said:

"In this way the whole Christian people not only will turn to St. Joseph with greater fervor and invoke his patronage with trust, but also will always keep before their eyes his humble, mature way of serving and of "taking part" in the plan of salvation.

I am convinced that by reflection upon the way that Mary's spouse shared in the divine mystery, the Church - on the road towards the future with all of humanity - will be enabled to discover ever anew her own identity within this redemptive plan, which is founded on the mystery of the Incarnation.

This is precisely the mystery in which Joseph of Nazareth "shared" like no other human being except Mary, the Mother of the Incarnate Word. He shared in it with her; he was involved in the same salvific event; he was the guardian of the same love, through the power of which the eternal Father "destined us to be his sons through Jesus Christ" (Eph 1:5)."