Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
The Power of St. Joseph
How much attention to you give to the man who was the earthly adoptive father and protector of Jesus, and the virtuous husband to Mary? Imagine how much Jesus and Mary love him. He had to be the holiest man who ever walked the earth having been chosen to live under the same roof with God and the Mother of God. Imagine that!
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Prayers to St. Joseph must be very powerful and effective. The Catholic Church considers him to the Protector of the Universal Church. He is also known as the “Terror of Demons,” and the patron of fathers and families. How could we not call on him?
Apparitions of St. Joseph
There are two-Church approved apparitions in which Joseph appeared: Knock, Ireland, in 1879 and Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. In Knock, on the evening of August 21, fifteen people witnessed a vision of the Blessed Mother wearing a golden crown, St. John wearing a bishop’s mitre and holding a Bible, and St. Joseph with a gray beard and robed in white. An altar was behind them with a cross and a lamb on it.
On Oct. 13, during the final vision in Fatima, St. Joseph appeared holding the baby Jesus. St. Lucia recounted: “When Our Lady disappeared in the immense distance of the sky, next to the sun we saw Saint Joseph holding the Child Jesus and Our Lady dressed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph and the Child seemed to be blessing the world making the sign of the cross.”
St. Joseph’s protection must be great indeed for God to make him the protector of the Holy Family. With families today under attack in so many ways, we should call on him often throughout the day.
St. Joseph Gems
Someone who loves St. Joseph very much is Father Donald Calloway. In his most recent book, St. Joseph Gems, he has gathered the largest collection of quotes about St. Joseph ever published in one place. They are selected from the writings of popes, saints, blesseds, and the many venerables of the Church, shedding light on St. Joseph's incredible example and his power as an intercessor.
Here are some of those quotes:
“If it is true that the Blessed Virgin is the keeper of all heavenly graces, that her love for the elect is the source of their glory and happiness, what must be the glory of St. Joseph whom she was obliged to love above all the saints, just as a good wife must lover her husband above all men. Meditate on this.” —Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.
“There are many saints to whom God has given the power to assist us in the necessities of life, but the power given to St. Joseph is unlimited: It extends to all our needs and all those who invoke him with confidence are sure to be heart.” —St. Thomas Aquinas.
“Jesus and Mary themselves obey and offer their homage to St. Joseph, for they reverence what the hand of God has established in him, namely, the authority of spouse and authority of father.” —Pope Pius XI.
“Jesus and Mary bent their whole wills to Joseph’s, for he was the head of the Holy Family, but they lovingly surrendered their hearts to him as well.” —St. Peter Julian Eymard.
“The angel of the Lord revealed to Joseph the dangers which threatened Jesus and Mary, forcing them to flee to Egypt and then to settle in Nazareth. So too, in our time, God calls upon us to recognize the dangers threatening our own families and to protect them from harm.” —Pope Francis.
“Jesus slept with the protection of Joseph.” —Pope Francis.
“To fathers of families, Joseph is a superlative model of paternal vigilance and care.” —Pope Leo XIII
“O Blessed Joseph, be ever mindful of us; give us the benefit of your powerful prayers.” —St. Bernardine of Siena.
“No husband and wife ever loved one anther so much as Joseph and Mary.” —Venerable Fulton J. Sheen.
“The growth of Jesus ‘in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man’ (Luke 2:52) took place within the Holy Family under the eyes of Joseph, who had the important task of ‘raising’ Jesus, that is, feeding, clothing, and educating him in the Law and in a trade, in keeping with the duties of a father.” —St. John Paul II.