March is the month dedicated to Saint Joseph.
A faithful man shall be greatly praised; and he that is the keeper of his Lord shall be glorified.
We don't know much about him except what is mentioned in the Gospels. Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus. Holy Scripture proclaims him as a "just man," and the Church has turned to Joseph for his patronage and protection. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam Pluries (On the Devotion to St. Joseph) in 1889 explains why we place so much trust in this saint:
"Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honor, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. ...It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ."
One hundred years later John Paul II echoes his predecessor in his 1989 Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redemeemer),
hoping "that all may grow in devotion to the Patron of the Universal Church and in love for the Savior whom he served in such an exemplary manner ...
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." St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes.
He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers,
of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.
— Jennifer Gregory Miller
St Joseph Model of Fathers
In the litany of St. Joseph, we say, “St. Joseph, Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.” There is more hidden behind this invocation than meets the eye. We know, of course, that Mary is the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ. We know that the Savior was not conceived of a human father. Yet the Church has never tired insisting on the fatherhood of St. Joseph in the Holy Family. It is crucially important to understand that there are two levels to fatherhood. There is the physical level of providing for the conception of a human body. In this sense, Christ did not have a human father. But a father is not only to cooperate with his wife in generating a child. He is also to cooperate with her in rearing the offspring which his spouse brings into the world. From all eternity, Joseph was destined to be the spouse of the Blessed Virgin. They were truly married. Joseph was Mary’s husband, and she was his wife. Marriage is the most intimate of all unions between two human beings. It imparts a community of gifts between those joined together in matrimony. Consequently, in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as his spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life’s companion, but also the witness of her virginity, the protector of her honor. No, by reason of his conjugal tie to Mary, he participated in her sublime dignity. We cannot exaggerate the importance of seeing St. Joseph as the true spouse of Mary. Under God, he was to share in her unique role as Mother of the Word made flesh who dwelt among us. St. Luke tells us that, on returning to Nazareth after Mary and Joseph found the young Christ in the temple, “Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men (Luke 2:52)”. What are we being told? We are being told that the Christ child constantly manifested greater wisdom as he grew in age. In God’s mysterious providence, both Mary and Joseph contributed to this manifestation of greater wisdom in Jesus.
— Father John Hardon
Holy Father's Prayer Intentions For March 2018
Formation in Spiritual Discernment: That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.
Healing of the Family Tree Mass
Thursday, March 8, 2018@ 7:00 PM
St. Lawrence Catholic Church
5225 N. Himes Ave
Tampa, FL 33614
Phone# (813) 875-4040
Palm Sunday is March 25th
Prayer to St Joseph
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your devine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your 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.
Prayer to St. Joseph in time of Distress
We come to thee, O blessed Joseph, in our sore distress. Having sought the aid of thy most blessed spouse, we now confidently implore thy assistance also. We humbly beg that, mindful of the dutiful affection which bound thee to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and of the fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, thou wilt lovingly watch over the heritage which Jesus Christ purchased with His blood, and by thy powerful intercession help us in our urgent need.
Most powerful guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen race of Jesus Christ; drive far from us, most loving father, every pest of error and corrupting sin. From thy place in heaven, most powerful protector, graciously come to our aid in this conflict with the power of darkness, and as of old thou didst deliver the Child Jesus from supreme peril of life, so now defend the holy Church of God from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity.
Have each of us always in thy keeping, that, following thy example, and borne up by thy strength, we may be able to live holily, die happily, and so enter the everlasting bliss of heaven. Amen.
A Prayer for Workers
O glorious Joseph! Who concealed your incomparable and regal dignity of custodian of Jesus and of the Virgin Mary under the humble appearance of a craftsman and provided for them with your work, protect with loving power your sons, especially entrusted to you.
You know their anxieties and sufferings, because you yourself experienced them at the side of Jesus and of His Mother. Do not allow them, oppressed by so many worries, to forget the purpose for which they were created by God. Do not allow the seeds of distrust to take hold of their immortal souls. Remind all the workers that in the fields, in factories, in mines, and in scientific laboratories, they are not working, rejoicing, or suffering alone, but at their side is Jesus, with Mary, His Mother and ours, to sustain them, to dry the sweat of their brow, giving value to their toil. Teach them to turn work into a very high instrument of sanctification as you did. Amen.
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Saints of the Month
3/01 St David of Wales
"Be joyful, brothers and sisters. Keep your faith, and do the little things that you have seen and heard with me."
3/02 St Agnes of Bohemia
Agnes had no children of her own but was certainly life-giving for all who knew her.
3/03 St Katharine Drexel
She was born in Philadelphia in 1858. She had an excellent education and traveled widely.
3/04 St Casimir
Casimir, born of kings and in line (third among 13 children) to be a king himself.
3/05 St John Joseph of the Cross
Self-denial is never an end in itself but is only a help toward greater charity.
3/06 Servant of God Sylvester of Assisi
Sylvester was one of the first 12 followers of St. Francis of Assisi and was the first priest in the Franciscan Order.
3/07 Sts Perpetua and Felicity
For their unwillingness, all were sent to the public games in the amphitheater.
3/08 St John of God
He established a house where he wisely tended to the needs of the sick poor, at first doing his own begging.
3/09 St Frances of Rome
Frances fell ill for a time, but this apparently only deepened her commitment to the suffering people she met.
3/10 St Dominic Savio
So many holy persons seem to die young. Among them was Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys.
3/11 St John Ogilvie
Condemned to death as a traitor, he was faithful to the end.
3/12 Bl Angela Salawa
Angela gave great service in caring for soldiers wounded in World War I.
3/13 St Leander of Seville
He had helped Christianity flourish in Spain at a time of political and religious upheaval.
3/14 St Maximilian
Maximilian was 21 years old when he gladly offered his life to God.
3/15 St Louise de Marillac
Louise de Marillac was canonized in 1934 and declared patroness of social workers in 1960.
3/16 St Clement Mary Hofbauer
Clement might be called the second founder of the Redemptorists,...
3/17 St Patrick
He suffered much opposition from pagan druids and was criticized in both England and Ireland for the way he conducted his mission.
3/18 St Cyril of Jerusalem
The crises that the Church faces today may seem minor when compared with the threat posed by the Arian heresy.
3/19 St Joseph
The just man was simply, joyfully, wholeheartedly obedient to God.
3/20 St Salvator of Horta
As cook, porter and later the official beggar for the friars in Tortosa, he became well known for his charity.
3/21 Bl John of Parma
The pope called on John to serve as legate to Constantinople, where he was most successful in winning back the schismatic Greeks.
3/22 St Nicholas Owen
Nicholas was a clever builder and architect who used his skills to protect endangered priests.
3/23 St Turibius of Mogrovejo
Together with Rose of Lima, Turibius is the first known saint of the New World, serving the Lord in Peru, South America.
3/24 St Catherine of Genoa
Going to confession one day was the turning point of Catherine’s life.
3/25 The Annunciation of the Lord
The central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us.
3/26 Bl Didacus Joseph of Cadiz
This unlearned man was called "the apostle of the Holy Trinity".
3/27 Bl Francis Faà di Bruno
He lived at a particularly turbulent time in history, when anti-Catholic and anti-papal sentiments were especially strong.
3/28 St Hesychius of Jerusalem
It's believed Hesychius delivered Easter homilies in the basilica in Jerusalem thought to be the place of the crucifixion.
3/29 Bl Ludovico of Casoria
In 1847 he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing.
3/30 St Peter Regalado
At the age of 13, he was allowed to enter the Conventual Franciscans.
3/31 St Stephen of Mar Saba
A "do not disturb" sign helped today's saint find holiness and peace.