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Sunday, September 6, 2009

To Saint Joseph on Labor Day Eve

Poor St. Joseph, he is one of the greatest saints in the Church, but so often overlooked. I just reviewed several of my books about selected saints and not one mentioned St. Joseph. Perhaps they assume devotion to the foster father of Jesus and choose to focus on the lesser known servants of God.

Whatever the reason, I think we need to reflect every day on dear St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death. Since all of us are moving in that direction, prudence dictates friendship with this "just man." Please, St. Joseph, be at my bedside when I am preparing to meet my God.

St. Joseph says not one word in the gospels; he is the silent man of action. An angel speaks in a dream and he immediately obeys taking Mary as his wife. He rises in the night to hasten on the journey into Egypt for the Christ child's safety. Once again roused in a dream, he hurries to make the return journey to Nazareth and the hidden life.

Imagine St. Joseph in the rough carpenter shed where he cuts and planes and smooths the wood. Imagine him guiding the little hands of Jesus, teaching him the craft. Imagine him thanking Mary for the humble meals she sets before him and leading his little family in the Sabbath prayers.

I want to know St. Joseph better. If Mary is our mother, he is indeed a good father with advice and guidance for his spiritual chidren. On this Labor Day, let us turn to St. Joseph and ask him to help us work well, always hurrying, as he did, to do God's will with all our hearts..

MEMORARE to St. Joseph
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

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