Monday, March 19, 2012

Great Saint Joseph

     I grew up in a parish under the patronage of Saint Joseph.  I remember a hymn that began "Great Saint Joseph, son of David, foster father of our Lord ...".  Joseph is that quiet, powerful, hardworking and intense man of faith and love that we know so little of and who yet holds such a special place in our lives.  He is the patron of the Church Universal.  He is the model of spouses and of foster parents, the patron of workers and of a happy death.  Someone once asked "Why that title? Patron of a happy death"  The answer seems simple ... we do not know when he died but we can assume that he was surrounded by the woman that he loved and her son, who he loved as his own, Jesus.  What greater happiness.

     One cute story concerns a particular peeve of a Benedictine Sister that I worked with - Sister Anne Lazar.  Sister Anne has a great love and devotion to Saint Joseph.  Even though tradition portrays Joseph as an "old man", Sister Anne always saw him as young and dynamic, and she would let you know how she felt.  There is no info on Joseph's age, but with Mary about 14 when she married, he could have been an "old man" at twenty.  Who knows?

     To all of our Joseph's out there - HAPPY FEAST DAY!

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