VIEW THE BORDER IMAGE LARGER
VIEW THE HOLY FAMILY BY SIMEONE IN FULL, PLAIN
The Sixteeen Ordinary But Extraordinary
A RAINBOW of Devotions
We do not praise the Saints merely for the sake of praising them; as St. Bernard says, they are so full of Heaven's gifts that our poor praises can scarcely add anything to their glory. We praise them in order to admire them; we admire them in order to love them; we love them in order to serve them; we serve them in order to imitate them; and by imitating them we gain their favor, and merit to have them as protectors in heaven. It is glorious for St. joseph to be so great, but what do we gain by his greatness if he does not share it with us, if he be not our advocate on high? Now he is willing to be of service to us if we show ourselves worthy, if we render him some poor service, and offer him really heart-felt homage. In addition to honoring with a web page, a statue of him in our homes and praying novenas, all efficacious practices, there are a number of other pious devotions we can use to pay him homage and ask for favors:
First Devotion-----The best devotion to Saint Joseph is to imitate his virtues, to model your actions on his, and to act as he acted. He and Our Lady will accept your feeble efforts and help you, and God will give you His blessing.
Second Devotion-----Say attentively each day a short prayer in honor of Saint Joseph, or an aspiration or two, with all of your heart. As with the Golden Hail Mary, it is better to say one brief prayer or aspiration with utter devotion and from the heart than a long prayer distractedly.
Third Devotion-----From time to time consecrate an entire week to the glorious St. Joseph, that he may offer all you do to Mary, to Jesus, to the Most Holy Trinity, and that he may dispose, according to his pleasure, all the fruits of your good works.
Fourth Devotion-----Choose 7 titles of honor, one for each day of the week, by which to pay homage to this great Saint, and vary your devotion. Some major titles are:
Most Chaste Spouse of Our Lady, Foster Father of the Savior, Model of Virginity and Chastity, Most Favored of Patriarchs, Governor of Jesus and Mary, Guardian of the Infant Jesus, Patron of the Dying, Patron of the Church, Patron of Laborers, Head of the Holy Family, and Distributor of the Treasures of the Messiah.
Fifth Devotion-----For the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, do not be satisfied with one day, which is not enough for the honor of so great and holy a Patron, but celebrate the entire octave, that is the Feast day and the week following. Each day attend Mass or communicate to heaven your honor for him in your own words; give alms in his name; better still, if you can do all of these, he will render it to you a hundredfold in Heaven.
Sixth Devotion-----Imitate those who every Wednesday, in honor of St. Joseph, either attend Mass or cause a Mass to be said, which they attend. If you have the financial means make a perpetual foundation for Masses, so that until the end of the world, God may be glorified by your means.
Seventh Devotion-----Try to win others to the devotion of St. Joseph; speak often of him, more from the heart than from mere lips. A celebrated preacher was wonderfully consoled at the hour of his death, when Our Lady appeared to him to tell him that she came to assist him, because of his holy practice of relating inspiring stories of her spouse in each of his sermons.
Eighth Devotion-----Always have in your oratory, or upon your heart, the picture of this great and amiable Saint. You can purchase a set of note cards as listed above, and have a color copy center enlarge one for you and then you can frame it and make a little shrine or oratory in your home. This particular image photocopies very well. This is only a suggestion, as you can purchase easily a lovely image of St. Joseph at most Catholic shops. There in your little shrine lay all your troubles at his feet; speak familiarly as if he were present; that is why we use images of the Saints, they help us recall their personality to us and draw us to them in Heaven. Take St. Joseph as your advocate in every necessity and at the hour of death.
Ninth Devotion-----When you receive Holy Communion, unite yourself spiritually to Our Lady and St. Joseph, and, with them, keep the Child Jesus company, as they did when they carried Him to the temple to present Him to His Father. You heart is then the true temple of the Lord. Say to him lovingly that today the Feast of the Presentation is celebrated in your soul; and that should Mary and St. Joseph desire to ransom the Divine Child, tell them that he has been given to you by God the Father, that they themselves are the two doves whom you demand for the ransom of Jesus, and that you will be contented with none else.
Tenth Devotion-----Never did anyone venerate St. Joseph with more devotion and honor than the Holy Virgin. She considered him as her lord spouse, as the foster father of Jesus, as the most holy man on earth, as the master who had been given to her by god Himself. In sickness and in health, she served him with the greatest tenderness. Imitate her as far as you can, and beg her to teach you true devotion to her holy spouse.
Eleventh Devotion-----Make an irrevocable contract in presence of the Celestial Court, and under the eyes of the august and adorable Trinity. Give to Mary and to Joseph your body, your soul, your heart, your entire self, and then say, with St. Catherine of Siena:
'Now I recommend to you your heart, and your poor servant. I no longer belong to myself, but to both of you. I ask but one thing of you: keep what belongs to you; never permit me to take it back from your blessed hands. This is my irrevocable resolution, for all eternity to belong entirely to Jesus, to Mary, and to Joseph, and I renounce, as far as it is possible for me to do so, all power of ever revoking this promise.'
Twelfth Devotion-----The gift of yourself is unquestionably more desirable and agreeable to Mary and Joseph than aught else; yet if God has granted you means, dedicate to them a more or less considerable share of what you possess. A great Saint, who, after having been patrician and consul, shed his blood for Jesus Christ, employed his immense riches in solacing the sick and the poor, serving them with his own hands. Now, while the memory of Roman emperors is held in affection by no one, the name of this holy man is not forgotten, and his memory is held in benediction on earth, and still more in Heaven. Do you similar acts of charity in honor of St. Joseph.
Thirteenth Devotion-----There have been, noble and wealthy persons who have erected churches or chapels in honor of the spouse of Mary, with a privileged altar for the solace of the Souls in Purgatory.
Fourteenth Devotion-----Undertake the maintenance of a young scholar, in the hope that he may one day become a good Priest, or holy Religious; or help a poor girl in honor of St. Joseph. This devotion is most pleasing to him, for its effects are real, and its results solid and lasting.
This kind of devotion deserves to be iillustrated by some example. The mayor of a village in France, to whom God had not granted children, proposed to his wife that they should bring up two orphan boys in their house. After a time he placed them first in a college, and later in the diocesan seminary, and both became Priests. A lady. whose fortune was not large, nevertheless managed constantly to maintain either a student in the seminary, or a young Religious in the novitiate of missionaries. In a country not far from France, a man of high rank, but whose fortune neither equalled his position nor the generosity of his disposition, had saved a sum of 600 francs for a journey of recreation. On the point of setting out he heard that a young girl was in danger of losing her innocence and her soul, if se could not procure a dowry of at least 600 francs. The dowry was at once paid, and the proposed excursion given up.
Fifteenth Devotion-----The Chancellor of Paris was very devout and very ingenious in his devotion. In his old age he was most assiduous in teaching the children of Lyons the Catechism, and at the end of each lesson he made those little innocents pray, 'My God, my Creator, be merciful to your poor servant John Gerson!' Their voices brought tears to the eyes of all who heard them, and drew down the mercies of God upon this virtuous man, who died a holy death Do you then, in a similar manner, unite your heart with all those hearts who love St. Joseph; unite your voice and your affections with those of all the Saints in Paradise, of all the just upon earth, of all the holy Souls in Purgatory, and say to God, to Our Lady, and to St. Joseph, that you approve of all that others do and say in their honor; that were it in your power to do as much as they together do, you would assuredly do it with all your heart, and with all your strength. Thank all the Saints for the homage they pay to this great Patriarch, entreat them to redouble their praises, insofar as the laws of Heaven and the decrees of Divine Providence permit them. As you cannot take part in their canticles, beg at least to be their echo, and tell them you ratify whatever they do and have done in honor of St. Joseph.
Sixteenth Devotion-----The last devotion which I propose to you is the avowal of your own insufficiency. It seems to me that St. Joseph, contemplating the Incarnate Word in the lowly house of Nazareth, must often have said in his heart: 'I adhere to all that my spouse says; I unite myself with all that she does; I take part in all her desires. I do not speak myself: but I hope that, as I agree with all that she thinks well to say, Jesus will approve of my silence. She and I are one in heart; she says all; I say nothing except through her mouth and her heart.' Reader, do the same; repeat to Our Lady that you approve and ratify all she says and does in honor of her spouse. and that you thank her for all a thousand times. Add that it is not the want of cordial affection which makes you silent, but rather its excess, because you can find no words to express it, and your tongue cannot keep pace with your feelings. Say that since St. Joseph by his silence has said as much as, and more than all others, you desire to imitate him.St. John tells us that when the Lamb had opened the seventh seal of the mysterious book mentioned in the Apocalypse, there was silence in Heaven, as it were, for half an hour; all the Saints were as if entranced, and could do nothing but admire the infinite majesty of God. So may you also do. Tell St. Joseph that, while others do wonderful things, your part must be to humble yourself, and acknowledge your own nothingness; while they offer their love, you can but offer nothingness and abjection, and acknowledge yourself incapable and unworthy of speaking. Fear not to imitate St. Augustine and other Saints who complained of God to God Himself, in some such terms as these: ' Thou commandest me to love Thee, O God most worthy of love; why, then, hast Thou given me such a poor and narrow heart? Why art Thou so great and I so little? The object being infinite, should not the heart and love be infinite also r Then you may continue: 'Thou hast made St. Joseph so great; Thou inspirest me with the ardent desire to love him, and yet Thou seest how incapable I am of doing anything worthy of Thee or of him. Assist my weakness, I beseech Thee, O Lord! I desire to do what is right, but I have not the power. Give me the power to do more. At any rate, be satisfied to see one who desires more than he is able to perform, who would fain do all that can be done by all men and all Saints, so as to honor Thee in the great things Thou hast done to St. Joseph.