Ite ad Joseph” (“Go to Joseph”) is one of the ancient cries of the Catholic Church. This year in particular, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pius IX acclaiming Saint Joseph as the universal Protector of the Church, Pope Francis has invited us to do just that in the Year of Saint Joseph, encouraging both prayer and intercession, petitions, inspiration, and even Consecration.
The Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, is upon us.
Were it not for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, we would just have a passing reference to his name in Mark and John. The precious accounts of Christmas are Matthew’s and Luke’s alone. And of these, Matthew pivots on St. Joseph more than does Luke, both reverencing the Divine intervention first in Mary. In all, Joseph is silent. Not a word in scripture do we have from him. Yet the Church has echoed down through the ages “Go to Joseph!” And he is considered the greatest of the Saints after Mary.
Silent but ever responsive, he is obedient to the dream of God’s inspiration. His first dream allowed him to understand from God’s messenger his betrothed and beloved Mary’s pregnancy after her three month Visitation to her elder relative Elizabeth, who was carrying John the Baptist. Could Joseph have accompanied her there and then returned? And if so had he heard the mysterious words from Elizabeth addressing Mary as “Mother of the Lord”? What would he make of that?
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